Friday, December 28, 2012

Incentives and the Fiscal Cliff

Now that we are just few days from the New Year...  Why would any Republican politician vote for a TAX INCREASE?  When they can wait until Wednesday and vote for a huge TAX CUT !!!

So I can understand why they are waiting, however I am not sure what is going to change for the Democrats after the first of the year. I don't think their desire to keep spending is going to be any more acceptable to the GOP on Wednesday.

I can see the tax/revenue side being addressed quickly next week, but the spending side solution seems more elusive.

CNN Fish or Cut Bait?
FOX News Law Makers Huddle

FOX News Tax vs Spend Discussion

Friday, December 21, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

MN Double Taxation

I love blogging because I often learn something I should have known.  Speed posted the following and it was pretty interesting.  Thoughts?

Speed Gibson Double Taxation

Also, what do you think the next MN Budget will be?  (>$40 million?)  As I noted on Speed's post, I keep reading that the Left leaning Democrats are going to make things right after all these terrible Republican years. Yet no one wants to answer what the budget will be or where the money will come from.

Speed Gibson New Priorities
MPP MN Budget Gimmicks
MPP Rebrand MN DFL
G2A Gov't will Grow
G2A MN Budget Baseline
MN Budget History

On top of this, I am assuming the DFL will be pushing a HUGE bonding bill.  That us and our kids will be paying for, for a long time.  Even if the interest was cheap.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Michigan Right to Work Update

These timing of these 2 FOX articles seemed too good to pass up.

Thoughts?

FOX News Michigan House approve RTW bill
FOX News Chrysler Workers Re-instated
G2A MN RTW Update

Back to The Debt / Fiscal Cliff

The CNN Money folks wrote what I think is a very fair and balanced article today.  It seems to challenge both the Left and Right's perception of reality.
CNN The Real Debt Problem


And more on the details are scarce on both sides.
FOX News Details on Cuts

Thoughts?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Reformers Hate Teachers?

 Alec posted this over at MPP.  MPP Reform Dismisses Crucial Lynchpin  I interpretted it that Alec feels that ALL American Modern Education Reformers hate Teachers for some irrational reason.

Of course I disagree with both of these beliefs:
  1. I think that the vast majority of people like and respect most teachers.  I certainly do. The challenge they face is huge and I think most do an admirable job.
  2. I think that Teacher's via their Union have brought Public frustration upon themselves.  Their insistence on compensation and job security policies that reward seniority and degrees instead of performance and taking on more responsibility are very bad for the system, it's effectiveness and the students.
 I have attached a few of the comments below.  You will have to read all of them at MPP for the other part of the talk.  In summary, Bill P and myself discuss who is in this evil Modern Reformers group that hates Teachers.  I reminded him that apparently Obama is one of the ring leaders since he supports Race to the Top.  And I suppose those evil politicians in Chicago are part of the movement since they wanted to add accountability to the contract.  Thoughts?
"Root Cause: Teachers used to be respected in America. What do you think changed this? Remember one of my favorite sayings.. If a company has union problems, they probably deserve them... (ie poor behavior let union get in)" John (G2A)
 
"It is always awesome to know, that when I post about the neurotic hatred of teachers, or the irrational hatred of unions, I will almost immediately get a great local illustration of the reactionary and factless stance on working people. And make no mistake, it is both irrational and hatred.
Kudos!" Alec
 
"So I assume you believe it is a Conservative conspiracy like Eric. It has nothing to do with Unions demanding that Teachers be rewarded based on seniority and degrees instead of performance.
 
It is hard to look in the mirror. My favorite books on the topic are "Leadership and Self Deception" and "The Anatomy of Peace". Both by the Arbinger institute. "John (G2A)  
G2A EPS Teacher Penalty
G2A Teachers over Students
G2A Class Evaluation
G2A Perf & Comp (1, 2 & 3)
G2A Strikes: Free Speech or Extortion

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hero, Villain or Just Luck?

So for a change of pace, the guys at MPP and myself have been discussing causality and correlation.

MPP Dems Learn to Negotiate
MPP A Natural Experiment
G2A Correlation does not imply Causation

In particular, Bill P and I don't necessarily agree regarding who is responsible for the good times we experienced in the 1990's or why Bill Clinton was disapproved of by some folks. Here is Bill P's version of reality.  What do you think?
"No, their problem with Clinton was not with his infidelity and the "cover up." That was a GOP pretense. They didn't have any grounds to object on the basis of "morality" or "covering up:" Gingrich and dozens of other conservative Republicans had done the same or worse as Clinton. 

Gingrich's GOP found they couldn't stop Clinton through regular political channels. They were confronted with the spectacle of a popular liberal president--presiding over a longer period of US economic growth than under Reagan--and the GOP congress wasn't going to get any credit for the success of that economy, because they'd fought Clinton policy every step of the way... 

...so Gingrich and the conservatives rolled the dice one more time, betting on a big fat juicy scandal easy-for-the-media-to-understand sex scandal that just guaranteed to bring down a popular Dem White House and secure a conservative future.

But the voters were smarter than they thought; the voters saw that the whole thing was hypocritical and politically (not morally or legally) motivated--and instead of Clinton, it was Gingrich booted out on his a**. 

And Clinton stuck around to balance that damn budget, to leave office with a high approval rating, and only the Constitution stopping him from being voted in for a third term.

And then that guy all the conservatives promoted and voted for got in. And with the help of the conservative Republican Congress, he ran the country, the economy, and that balanced budget you want so much: right into the s***ter." Bill P.
 _______________________________________
"I think I remember the Republican Congress giving him a hand. And quite a few fits...  
 Entitlement spending has to be brought in line with payroll tax revenues. I just don't think the Democrats are even dealing with that reality.  
Or it becomes another welfare program. Which should have means testing and work requirements."  John (G2A)
Wiki Govt Shutdown
Wiki Clinton Impeachment
Wiki Welfare Reform

I like Bill Clinton, but I think he had a lot of help and good luck.  The Soviet Union was reeling, Saddam was in his No Fly Zone prison, Al-Qaeda hadn't flown jets into US national treasures and killed thousands, etc. The internet, other technologies, and the Y2K scare was driving lots of work. The GOP helped minimize spending increases.

I won't bother defending Bush other than to say that he had lot more problems to deal with.  The tax cut probably should have never happened, especially if he knew the war was coming.  But of course he didn't because the towers had not been blown up yet...  Bummer.

Wiki No Fly Zones
Wiki Terrorist Attacks
Wiki Bush Tax Cut (1st)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Avoidance Options

This is better than a soap opera... 

  1. Will citizens expect to keep retirement ages low even though they are living longer and aren't paying a bigger premium? (ie payroll tax) (G2A Living Longer)
  2. Will they expect those who saved and invested to pay for their retirement benefits like some welfare queen?
  3. Or will they only ask for what they put in plus some reasonable interest rate minus some insurance premium? (ie disability  and survivor's benefit coverage)

Well at least we have 2 proposals on the table, now we will see what happens...  Will we tip towards even more gov't forced wealth transfer, or will personal property rights be honored?

Thoughts?

Reuters Fiscal Cliff Offers Compared
Republican Offer

Sunday, December 2, 2012

RAS: The Wheels on The Bus

Well the Board agreed to increase transportation expense again, go figure...  Hopefully this STEM investment is paying back enough marginal revenues to cover the marginal expenses.  If you are unaware, RSI & SEA require unique bus routes to cover the whole district.  This also continues into Middle School.

The odd thing about it is that only the Spanish Immersion kids are supposed to use the whole district busing to get to Plymouth Middle School.  Meaning that citizens who intra-district transfer and are not in the Immersion program need to drive their kids.  I assume it will be the same for the Robbinsdale Middle School STEM program.

Also, has anyone heard if they were able to improve Demographics of RSI and SEA to better represent the District?  They have been mysteriously quiet on this topic so I assume the poverty level is still likely far below the neighborhood schools.  Please reply if I am wrong. (or correct)

SUN Post District Approves Middle School STEM program
RAS STEM Middle School To Open
RAS STEM Middle Proposal Presn
RAS 20Nov12 Meeting Agenda Packet

Also, here is what they are saying about academic progress.  It looks positive, though I didn't take much time to analyze it.  Thoughts?
RAS Measure of Academic Progress Presn
RAS Press Release

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Taxes Important, Spending Not?

Hiram's interpretation of reality triggered this post...
"Another good question is how much does government spending contribute to the Gross Domestic Product. In our current mode with the fiscal cliff all the rage in the media and in Washington, we are told by just about everyone that drastic measures designed to reduce the debt would wreck the economy, with presumably a negative impact on the GDP.

It seems we are all Keynesians now."  Hiram
I replied back...
"That's kind of funny, I have heard almost nothing about avoiding the spending cuts. "Everyone" seems to be focusing on the tax cuts. The President, Congress, etc.

Maybe the Keynsians are losing popularity." G2A
So what do you think, has Obama given up his Keynesian ways?  He sure is focused on trying to make the GOP the bad guys on taxes, and make himself look like the tax cut advocate.  Thoughts?

CNN Obama Push Over Cliff?
FOX News Going Nowhere
CFR Fiscal Cliff Details & History
Wiki Fiscal Cliff
US Budget Alert Summary

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Life Expectancy and Social Security

So 4 things aligned perfectly to motivate me to write this post.  Big E at MPP posted that deficits and SS were not related.  My Father noted that the SS age needs to be raised.  Minnesota Liberal commented at MPP that "The discussion over Social Security (an earned annuity) is on the disbursement side, so the so-called payroll tax holiday is irrelevant". (see MPP link/comments for more detail) And I helped my daughter solve a math problem to determine how many percent the avg life expectancy has increased since 1940. 

This was my summary at MPP regarding the annuity comment.
"Now I agree that Social Security should be a self funded pension plan. However we know that it's balance + ongoing contributions are not adequate to pay its forecasted disbursements. Therefore we either need to raise it's contributions (higher payroll tax), make transfers from the general fund (wealth transfer) or cut it's disbursements. (lower payments or raise age)"

This seems pretty simple and straight forward to me.  And then after looking at links 2 - 4 below it becomes pretty self evident that what we payed for and what we are expecting to receive are out of whack and Father's correct.  The eligible age has to be increased greatly or we need to raise the payroll tax significantly.  Thoughts?

MPP Reagan's Advice on Social Security
Intellectual Takeout Life Expectency Change and SS Benefits
Carpe Diem Retirement Age vs Life Expectancy
Life Expectancy History chart

Monday, November 26, 2012

Government the Charity?

Give2Attain is conflicted !!! 

For years I have been striving to increase my charitable giving level.  I sucked at giving when I was in college.  Then I got better at it when I started working, I got up to the 3% level.  Then my income increased and I became a "responsible adult". ( though some may disagree) The giving kept increasing significantly with my dream of sometime getting to that elusive 10%.

However after learning more about how many of my tax dollars are being transferred to the "needy" and "not so needy" via my taxes, I am seriously considering cutting back significantly on my charitable giving.  I am happy giving unto Caesar what is Caesars, but giving to Bill, Tina, Dan, etc, etc, etc???

I mean if we the more successful will be forced to pay higher rates in the name of the "needy" and "not so needy", why should we keep giving to private charities?   Thoughts?

US Govt Spend Pie Chart
G2A Welfare is Not Charity
G2A God Works in Mysterious Ways
G2A Protector of the Small
G2A Romney / Obama Charity
G2A Entitlement or Gratitude
G2A Can Politicians be Efficacious
G2A Needs vs Wants
G2A Tax the Rich, Then What?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Can Unions Help the USA Compete?

As we have been discussing, there are different views regarding the Pros and Cons of Employee Unions in America.

G2A Power to the People?

For the most part, I see them as entities that promote waste and inefficiency, however I am willing to try and determine if they in some ways can help the USA to be more competitve.  Or if they can improve the standard of living for all Americans, not just the employees that are in the Union.

Here are some potential benefits:
  • A wage premium is additional money that can be spent in the community.  Poor folk don't buy many consumer goods and services.
  • Some Managers/Owners can be excessively short sighted and greedy, contracts may ensure they stop and think before acting.
  • Smart companies ensure profits are shared with their employees, however some encouragement may be helpful with those that are not too smart.
  • Others?
Veracity Stew Graphic
WP If America Loses Unions

Remember my favorite saying about Unions.  "If you have a Union, you or your predecessor probably did something to deserve it."

Thoughts?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Due to a family member becoming ill, we are staying home for the first Thanksgiving ever !!!  (ie not driving to SW MN & SD)  The turkey is in the oven and we are just being big couch potatoes.  I'll miss seeing the extended family and taking part in the normal traditions, however this is kind of nice too.

Wishing you and yours a very Happy and Safe Thanksgiving !!!

Comic 1   Comic 2   Comic 3   Comic 4   Comic 5

Comic 6   Comic 7   Comic 8   Comic 9   Comic 10

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Power to the Employees?

Since Summer school is apparently as popular with my commenters as with the students that need to attend it, we will move on.  The first topic of the evening is one of our favorites.  Who killed Hostess, greedy owners/mgrs, greedy employees or healthy Americans?

My gut feel is that the Baker's Union did, but I know little about this.  I just can't figure who throws a strike when the company is on the bankruptcy rocks.  Kind of like jumping on top of the goose (golden eggs) when it has pneumonia.

NY Post Hostess Out of Business
CNN Hostess Mediation Fails
ABC Talks Fail
CNN Bonuses Too Sweet

The second topic is, what do you think of the Walmart strike talk?

CNN Walmart workers to strike
WP Strike
MPP CNN Confronts Walmart

I guess I think that raising compensation at Walmart and raising the minimum wage have the same problem.  It would likely start a cycle of inflation, for better or worse.  Operating costs go up and then the prices start to go up.  I am not sure if the people who work these low education, low responsibility, low skill jobs would be better or worse off.  And I can guarantee those without jobs would be worse off.

I think the bigger question is how do we bring more low education, high skill, high responsibility jobs back?  That way we can pay more without over paying. (hint: Buy American)

Thoughts?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Summer's Off are Hard on Learning

Alec at MPP posted an interesting link and comments in this post.  MPP Summer Learning Loss Accounts for 2/3 of the Achievement Gap  I posted some comments, please review the post and my comments.

Just a note, the Organization posting the research may have some bias. National Summer Learning Association: Research in Brief 

I agree that long Summers off are an issue.  I see this even in my kids where we prod them with various things during the Summer.  Not sure if I agree that it accounts for 2/3's of the gap by it's self though, given all the factors we identified previously.  G2A Factor List

Of course,  Alec sees this as a big problem and I agree/disagree.  The question is what should we do about it, who pays, who goes year round, what about Summer jobs, etc, etc etc.  Thoughts?

NYT This is your brain on Summer
JH Paper

Saturday, November 17, 2012

America Spend More and Pay Less?

Now I don't disagree with the simple statement.  "We tax those with money because that's who has the money."  It seems like pretty straight forward logic.

However I definitely see things differently than Hiram does.
"It's the president who proposed middle class tax cuts over the opposition of Republicans in Congress, and it's the president who is arguing now that they should be saved against the opposition of Republicans in Congress who are trying to hold those middle class tax cuts hostage in their effort to prevent tax increases on the wealthiest Americans."   --Hiram


I see Obama as holding the extension of our current low rates hostage because he wants to Tax the Rich at even a more Progressive rate than they are today.  To me this seems very unwise and I hope the House can stop the foolishness.

Here is my rationale: I want those that support big government and increased governmental spending to bear the burden of that choice.  Therefore if low and middle income people want government run and paid for schools, healthcare, social services, regulations, retirement, insurance, etc, it is critical that they also pay more to support these choices.  To vote for increased government and lower personal taxes is hypocritical, self serving and shows a lack of character that bodes poorly for our country's future.

At work, when we develop requirements for a new machine, it is critical that we do a cost trade off analysis for all options and features.  If instead we just asked customers what they want without explaining what it will cost them, they would almost always say yes. Then we end up with a machine that costs too much, and the Customers have a machine they can not justify paying for.  A lose/lose situation to say the least.

Just think of the monster we can create if the people that design our governement, features and options only receive the benefits and don't have to pay the costs !!!

So I hope the cuts stay in force for all of us or are allowed to elapse for all of us.  Relieving the folks that vote for big government from the natural consequences of their choices is a BAD idea.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

GOP To Buy Votes?

With all the talk regarding Romney's comments about Obama's buying votes, I thought it would be interesting to see how the GOP could ever buy votes...  I mean Obama and crew have no problem doing it with tax payers money and granting amnesty, maybe the GOP could figure out a way.  Here are some random thoughts.
  • They already do it by offering the religious right new laws to limit the freedom of other Americans.
  • Of course they also offer the 1% lower taxes, but of course that is only 1% of the voters. (poor return on investment)
  • Standing up for the rights of the potential legal immigrants that are waiting in line, by demanding the illegals go to the back of the line sure didn't work out to well.
  • Supporting the needy, tortured and oppressed in Afganistan and Iran sure did not gain them any points with the supposed caring Liberal voters.  Seemingly those people dying and not getting to go to school isn't as important as American's without cell phones.
  • Well, it looks like it is going to be hard for the GOP to buy votes while maintaining their values of small government and individual responsibility.
I guess the only hope is that the majority figures out that they are paying for the gifts that Obama gave out over the past 1+ years. 

My company is doing the annual benefits enrollment, so I am painfully aware of how that free Obamacare is hitting my and their bottom line.  It reduced the max flex spending withholding from $5,000/yr to $2,500/yr, and increased my company's healthcare costs by ~$50,000,000/yr... I wonder where that money will come from and if that higher cost will encourage them to hire more employees in America?

MPP Long Knives Out for Romney
FOX News Buying Votes

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What a Conservative Wants?

Since I promised to take a shot at the other side also...

"Conservatives believe in a "fair" America. A place where people get to keep the money they have inherited or earned.  A place where government provides minimal services, collects minimal taxes and does almost no wealth transfer. (ie safety nets)  A place where citizens can choose to help those with similar beliefs, while letting strangers and those they disapprove of suffer. (ie selective charitable giving)  Or they can choose to help no one.

Since the Conservative was lucky to have been born in America, to have been raised well, to have been successful, etc, they really can see no reason why everyone can not attain success.  And if those people have not attained success, they are likely sinners, lazy or not too smart.

The government of the people should not transfer Private Property from the successful to the less successful, because they do it inefficiently, ineffectively  and distribute too much to the lazy, sinners and not too smart. (and the bureaucrats / public employees) "

Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What A Liberal Wants?

In the last post I was told "You haven't a clue what liberals think."  And I agree whole heartedly that I have no idea what Liberals think.  So I asked for clarification
"Right now I am interested in how Liberals see this state run wealth distribution plan working. How will it promote hard work and efforts from us all to make America great for our children? One note: you cannot deny that free loaders exist. Anyone who has worked with a group of people knows that some people are industrious and self motivated, and others not so much so."
I received little input, so I took a shot at it.  And yes there are a couple of loaded words, but over all it seems like a nice idealistic place to live.  Kind of like Star Trek's Federation society.
"Liberals believe in a "fair" America. A place where there is no poverty and everyone has food, clothing, education, healthcare, phones, etc. Everyone is entitled to these things since they live on American soil.

Since these are due to all people living on American soil: work reqts, citizenship, effort, behaviors, beliefs, etc are immaterial in determining what they should have and how they should live.

The government of the people is best suited to ensure these entitlements are provided equitably, therefore it is "fair" and "right" that they forcefully transfer Private Property from the successful to the less successful"

and
"In this "fair" America, it seems unfair that poor and middle class people should lose assets, jobs, property, money, etc for any reason. Whether the person made good choices, did due diligence, paid for insurance, etc is immaterial. Therefore the government should take an active role in protecting people from most things and/or pay for the loss if it happens.

The government of the people is best suited to ensure the people are protected adequately, therefore it is "fair" and "right" that they forcefully transfer Private Property from the successful to fund the insurance programs and pay for the regulatory expenses..."
At which time Hiram gave what seems like a simple and practical dream.
"My dream is that things are rewarded according to their value. But it's just a dream."
And I asked some simple questions that seem to be the crux of the problem.
"Thoughts on how "Value" should be determined?   Or how "Rewards" are to be distributed?"
Better clarification?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

No Personal Property or Responsibility?

After listening to folks comment in the last post that there are people that deserve the money more than the wealthy/successful folks, and implying that the government in its wisdom should make these adjustments in the wealth balance...  Then reading that the banks are responsible for making people buy more house than they could afford for little or nothing down... (ie no equity)

It has occurred to me that maybe Liberals do truly believe that all property belongs to the State, and that individual citizens really shouldn't be held responsible for their own choices...  This can not be a good thing.

I assume these are examples of where a Liberal would see things this way:
  • After years of working the same job and never making efforts to improve or modernize their skills, the worker becomes unemployed and can not find an equivalent job.  It must be the evil company's fault that the person isn't employable...  It can't be the employees fault can it?
  • A risk averse person sees the incredible returns in his friend's stock portfolio and decides to change everything over to it.  Then the market crashes, he gets scared, sells it all off and loses 20% of his savings.  It must be the markets fault, it couldn't have been the greed and foolishness of the investor...  Or could it?  
  • A union insists that compensation stays high, work rules stay rigid, ineffective employees keep their jobs, etc even though profits and market share are declining due to low margins and little money available for R&D.  The company goes bankrupt, it must be those greedy managers that killed the golden goose.  Right?
Thoughts? Any other examples?

Friday, November 9, 2012

What Should The GOP Learn?

Some extreme Conservatives are saying that Romney lost because he was not "Conservative" enough.  Personally I think these folks have been out smoking some of that POT they don't want to legalize...  It seems their rationale is that Conservative voters decided it wasn't worth going out to vote...  Which based on  C1 and C2's votes regarding the continuum, is absolutely silly.  Conservatives see Obama as Socialism incarnate and would therefore vote for anyone to keep him out of the office.

I keep saying that the GOP needs to focus more on being fiscal Conservatives and less on trying to legislate our country's and the world's morality per the fundamentalist Christians...  Being a modern day Crusader apparently is not too popular in this incredibly diverse country.

What do you think? How can the Republicans do better next time?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

And Government will Grow

Apparently Minnesota will learn what happens when spending exceeds inflation and our "GDP" growth. (ie more of our economy)

Duluth News MN Legislature
US Spending History Chart

Thankfully the GOP still controls the House at the Federal level.  Maybe they can hold back the spending spree.

Thoughts on the results?  Or just need to vent or celebrate?  Both comments welcome.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Remember to Vote Today

Make sure to vote Tuesday, and here are some comics to help break the tension.

Comic 1   Comic 2     Comic 3    Comic 4

Comic 5   Comic 6     Comic 7    Comic 8

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Obama or Romney ?

After listening to all the discussion, it seems that Obama supports moving much closer to a Unitary governmental system.  (Feds in charge)  This means the government needs to collect a lot of money and create one size fits all policies. (ie education, healthcare, immigration, welfare, workers rights,etc)  Therefore removing this authority and responsibility from the local and state governments.  In essence saying that the Local folks are not to be trusted to take care of their own citizens.

Where as Romney wants to maintain our current Federalist governmental system and ensure the States keep their power and flexibility.  This means defunding many Federal government programs and empowering the States to tax and manage the programs if they choose to, and run it in the way the choose.

As I noted in the Hierarchy, doing detail things at that high level is just too ineffective and inefficient for my taste.  The States and individual citizens can do this much better.  Maybe I'll add these labels to the continuum, Unitary on the Left, Federalism at about 20% and Conferate at the far right.

Romney still has my vote even though I don't like Ryan's strong ProLife Anti-Gay views.

CNN If Romney is Elected
CNN If Obama is Elected
CNN Poll of Polls
FOX News Election Center
Fed, Confed & Unitary
Spark Govt Systems
G2A Responsibility Hierarchy
G2A Political Continuum

Of course here are some more reasons why folks are voting for Obama... (ie Obama bucks and phones) He has to cry when these people choose to support him on line or in front of a camera...  Please forgive the commentator for making Rush look like a moderate, I thought the clips were more interesting.
Info Wars Report - Phones Compilation

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bonoff vs Gaither

I am torn on this one, I really like Terri...  However they both spoke well and made sense at the forum.  Either I'll do some more research before Tuesday, or I'll bring a coin to flip...

In this case, Gaither's apparent support for the Marriage Amendment will likely have me voting for Bonoff.  Given 2 moderates, I'll pick the one that supports personal freedoms.

Terri Bonoff for Senate
David Gaither for Senate
True North Gaither to Challenge Bonoff
Mtka Patch Debate
Vote Smart Bonoff

Also, here was an interesting opinion piece on the effective politician.
NYT Rules for Craftsmen

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Britton vs Anderson

I had high hopes for Audrey when I went to the RAS candidate forum, unfortunately she disappointed me by seeming to be a traditional Liberal. She seemed happy to focus on "fully funding" the Education system while requiring no accountability from them.  I assume she would raise taxes to do that since it is unlikely she would want to cut the Human Services monster. Looks like Sarah will get my vote again.

Same old question...  How do Liberals think we can grow grow govt spending faster than the GDP and CPI year after year?  I will never understand.  Somehow they need to become more effective / efficient, or they need to cut something.

Imagine your household bills increased 2 to 4% faster than your income for 10, 20, or more years...  How would this work out?

Audrey Britton for House
Sarah Anderson for House
Vote Smart Sarah Anderson
Star Tribune New Faces
Plymouth Patch Debate

MN Catholics Getting Angry

A Catholic friend of mine was very frustrated last night on Facebook.  The Archdiocese apparently sent her a "thou shalt vote yes" on the marriage amendment note.  And her fellow Catholic friends were there cheering her on.  It seems they like their Church, but its intolerance for our fellow humans is starting to drive in a wedge.  You would think the Vatican should have learned something from the Reformation.

CNN MN Marriage Amendment
Catholics for Marriage Equality
HP Case for Marriage Equality
Star Trib Arch Bishop Statements
Wiki 95 Theses / Reformation

Also, I was having a discussion regarding this over on Speed's/R-Five's site.  You may find it interesting.
Speed Gibson Marriage Amendment 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Responsibility Hierarchy

After discussing my sister's letter with Hiram, I think I have figured it out.  Fiscal Conservatives like myself see the responsibility hierarchy like this.  It starts with personal responsibility first, progresses through the steps, with Federal rarely being used. (ie small population of people)  And preferably they mostly pressure the lower levels to fulfill their role.

Whereas the Fiscal Liberals seemingly want to skip steps 1 thru 5 and give all the responsibility, authority and power to the Federal government. Thus lifting the burden of responsibility from everyone above.
  1. Person
  2. Person's Family
  3. Charities & Other Non-Profits
  4. Local Government 
  5. State Government
  6. Federal Government *
* Primarily paid for by the "Wealthy" (ie wealth transfer)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

News Bias About Libya?

The FOX folks may be a bit over the top on this, yet they raise some excellent points. Why aren't the main stream outlets covering this more closely?  If Obama had been a Republican would they be behaving the same way? (I don't think so)

Thoughts?  And what do you think about this topic?

FOX News Toothless Watch Dogs
CNN Panetta
Yahoo Timeline
FOX News Obama Refuses to Answer
FOX News Stand Down

By the way, there is only one CNN link because they seem to be avoiding the story of late...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vote Romney: A Woman's View

Here is an excellent letter that my brilliant and caring sister Elizabeth posted on her Facebook page.
"Many of you thinking of voting for Obama have asked why I support Romney. It may not make me popular, but I believe it is important we all stand up for what we believe in ... And I enjoy and respect what you all believe too. But in case you want to know, here it is ...

I vote for the person who most matches my beliefs. Government should limit its effort to primary services such as keeping us safe (law enforcement, military, justice system), providing infrastructure and education for people age 5 to 18. I am sure there are many more things, but these are the top ones that come to mind. The point is that the government is currently trying to do way too many things that weren't in the original framework of the government. Hence, our current $16 trillion debt.

I want citizens to be free to use our time, talents and money to support the individual goals of our own lives. If people need help, we should help them privately and not depend on an inefficient government to help the unfortunate. We have a duty to help people who need help, but I choose to do this through my church and other non profit organizations.

I don't want the government involved in my healthcare choices or payment of healthcare services. As a person with multiple health disorders, that sounds like a nightmare to me. I want to keep my money and purchase my own health insurance. I want to pick my own doctors.

I am pro life and believe all life begins at conception. And that the baby should be protected regardless of its reason for being created. The baby's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness should be protected by the law. Through out my years of infertility, I witnessed abortions being the every day solution when doctors put too many embryos in a woman which caused 3 or more babies to be created. The doctors would "reduce" the pregnancy to one or 2 babies seemingly without hesitation. What is going on in our world when you can choose to kill a baby you just purposely created???

I want America to be energy independent so we can all save money at the pumps. This alone will literally put money in the pockets of almost every American. Money they can use however they need to for their family.

Will Mitt Romney do exactly what he says or exactly what I want? Of course not. But he will certainly be more likely to make the fiscally and morally responsible choices I believe in than Obama. Just look at how Obama handled the travesty of Libya. How can anyone trust him after he lied about something so significant? And even if he didn't lie, at best he and his staff were terribly incompetent.

I understand and respect if you don't believe these things. It really is okay. That is what is great about America. We can all have a say. We can all have a vote. Thank God, and God bless America! Now get your vote in ... for Romney!:)"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Believe in America

The other day I saw a neat little American flag sticker with the words "Believe In America",  The irony of course was that it was in the window of someone's Honda Civic in the work parking lot.

I work at an American Owned Manufacturing company that has a great deal of its development, corporate, sales, manufacturing, etc in the United States. Therefore they/we generate a lot of tax dollars and jobs for America. This is a good thing, but what concerns me is that many of these employees that traditionally would have been American Manufacturing advocates and supporters are now driving non-American product.  They seem to agree with Stossel's view.
Stossel Buy American Dumb Idea

Of course, the irony is that if everyone optimizes to get the most value at the lowest cost, then there will be less money available to spend, since companies have to have revenues in order to pay personnel.  Stossel seems to avoid that side of the equation totally.

Of course Obama's policies are about punishing American companies for trying to reduce costs and stay competitive. (ie prevent writing off plant closure expenses) And about spending Tax dollars to help subsidize GM and its workers.  So I am not sure what he is thinking?

It is kind of funny that no where in the campaign did any of the candidates stress the importance of American's buying American if they want to save American jobs.  As one of my friends said " soon we will all be selling carpet to each other", and I don't think that pays too well...  The upside is we won't need to be good at math or science...

Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Poor Advertising?

Don't forget tomorrows forum ... However I thought this was humorous and worth sharing.
Who do you think is more frustrated by this ad?  Romney having his content on MPP, or Liberals having to repeatedly see this ad on MPP.  Remember if you are a Liberal, go there and pick the button often.  Then you can help transfer some of Mitt's money to the MPP folk.  Interesting idea?  Here is the Link MPP.   Maybe Adsense isn't so smart after all.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

RAS Area Legislative Candidate Forum

Don't Forget to Attend
Candidate Forum Thursday 7 PM at RAS ESC

Romney Obama Debate 3

I don't have much to say about the debate except blah, blah, blah.  I don't think I learned anything new.  Maybe I was too distracted by the work I was doing.

What did I miss that you think was important?

Youtube Debate 3
NPR Transcript

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Government or Personal Property?

We have a day before the debates, so let's try a new discussion.

"This notion that government owns all income and then allows each of us to have some of it back is just wildly offensive." J Ewing

J and I definitely believe that what we own and earn is our personal property, and that it is right to pay some amount of it to society to pay for our membership and the benefits it offers.  Hiram and Laurie seem to believe that everything belongs to Society and that we should be thankful for what we are allowed to keep...

Is this correct or am I putting words in your mouths?  Thoughts?

This seems to be a key point that shows up often in our discussions and with respect to what is "FAIR".

Thursday, October 18, 2012

RAS Board Candidate Forum

3 seats are open on the Robbinsdale School Board. Sherry Tyrrell, Helen Bassett, John Vento and Ron Stoffel are the candidates that spoke.  (Peter Vasseur did not attend)

It definitely was a lot calmer than the Presidential debates, in fact it was pretty boring. Typical comments noted the low state/federal funding, arts are great, district is great, district staff is great, need to partner with volunteers and businesses, etc, etc, etc.

The most amusement came when there were some specific audience generated questions aimed at Ron's past activities. (anti-referendum, right to make questionable statements) Apparently some attendees still had hurt feelings and an axe to grind.  I think he did well at answering these, and the poor Moderator's face was priceless since she had none of the history. (ie impartial & not from district)

My frustration was that when asked how the district's results would be improved, no one even dared to touch the concept of Teacher evaluations, Parent/Student class satisfaction surveys, or any staff accountability concepts.  When asked about how to lengthen the school year by a few days, they just rolled their eyes and said that there was no funding available to do this.  It must be my "salary based viewpoint" showing, wouldn't professional salaried Teachers just work the few more days if asked in order to help the kids?

Ron and John impressed me most in that they seemed to have the most out of the box ideas.  Implement more technology and change teaching methods to increase effectiveness. Technology ear marked referendum if necessary. Whereas Sherry and Helen seemed focused on lobbying for more money.  Maybe they know something based on their experience, or they have become part of "the collective"... (need more money...  need more money... need more money...)

Here is a link if you are interested.  Thoughts?
Access Forum Video/Audio Here
G2A RAS and Group Think
G2A Teacher Evaluation Forms
G2A Better Public Education

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Obama Romney Debate: Tie?

I think both sides showed up and did a great job.  The pundits are giving the win to Obama, but I think it was by a very small margin if this was the case.

What do you think?    Debate Link

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

RAS Board Candidate Forum

Don't forget to attend on Wednesday Evening. LWV Voter

Candidate Forum - Robbinsdale Area School Board
Wed, 17 Oct, 2012 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
This will be cablecast on the school district cable channel
Location: Education Service Center Board Room
4148 Winnetka Avenue North
New Hope, MN

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Vote NO: MN Marriage Amendment

Of course I am voting NO, which shouldn't be a surprise given my get religion out of government views.  Here is one of the funnier things I read on the vote YES site.
"Perhaps most importantly, shifting the focus of our marriage laws away from the interests of children and society as a whole, and onto the desires of the adults involved in a same-sex relationship will result in the most profound long-term consequences. Such a paradigm shift says to children that mothers and fathers don’t matter (especially fathers) – any two “parents” will do. It proclaims the false notion that a man can be a mother and a woman can be a father – that men and women are exactly the same in rearing children. And it undermines the marriage culture by making marriage a meaningless political gesture, rather than a child-affirming social construct."


In this world that is full of single parent household's and gay/lesbian parents, I would think we would want to encourage more marriages for the kids.  I am assuming that 2 Mothers would be much better than 1 Mother and NO father.  And if the Gay/Lesbian couple has kids, then don't we want them to be married (long term commitment) for the good of the children? (like the the vote YES adds say)

Unless the the Religious right will soon be working to make it illegal for gay and lesbian couples to have kids, or be the Parents of them.  Seems like a natural next step based on this Arch-Bishop's views.  Maybe it will give him justification for spending more of the offerings.

Star Tribune Arch-Bishop Draws Line
Minnesotans for Marriage
Freedom to Marry
Star Tribune Conservative Case for Same Sex Marriage

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Biden Ryan Debate Thoughts

I thought it was an interesting debate. The two definitiely have different philosophies and plans for America.

I think Biden may have excited the DFL base and alienated some moderates with his cynical scoffing expressions and continual interuptions.  Whereas Ryan seemed to stay calm, polite, collected, candid, etc, which I think many moderates will respect.  Though his strong pro-life message will scare some of the moderates off.

It will be interesting to see what the polls say in the coming week, and if this makes any change at all.  Personally I think it was a draw, to maybe a slight win for Ryan.

Thoughts?

Youtube Debate Biden Ryan Video

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

GOP Principles Over Survival?

I promised to give you a shot at the Republicans, so here you go.  These folks continually rely on the White Bible bangers to enable them to stay in power.  You know these folks that want the government to legislate our morality per their beliefs.  Thereby relieving us of the freedom to love/marry who we choose, execute family planning as we choose, and do many other very personal things.  If they had their way, the government would likely enforce mandatory Christian church attendance every week and make many fun things very illegal.

Ironically the commitment to some of these folks is likely to cause the party to lose power in the coming years. (see linked article)  I mean the adamant Pro-Life (anti-choice/gov't knows best) stance alone probably costs the party millions of fiscally Conservative voters.

Thoughts on these or any of the other GOP stalwart supporters?
NYT Can Demographics Shift an Election?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Peace Lovers are Confusing

I asked a question over at MPP and didn't get an answer so we'll try it over here. Below are my comments and questions.  MPP Somebody Knew from the Start
"So the Taliban were in power and allowing anti-American forces to train on their property. They were treating women and girls as second class citizens and slaves. What would a peace and human rights loving person do in the situation?
I don't disagree that it is difficult to achieve long term success in the region. Just curious what you would have done different?"
This came to mind after reading and seeing the things below.  I realize that we can't and probably shouldn't try to save everyone, yet to continually complain about the USA military actions when they are trying to do just that seems odd from a peace loving Liberal.  May be it is easier for them to ignore the plight of dissidents in Iraq, women in Afganistan, people in Somalia, etc than to have to face it on the television.
CNN Girl Wounded for Speaking Out
CNN Taliban Execute Woman as Men Cheer

Monday, October 8, 2012

Democrats Rely on Who / Why?

An interesting though rude quote from Winston Churchill. “Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains.”

Now I am not trying to annoy my Democratic friends anymore than usual, and I promise to pick on the GOP folk soon.  However I still want to understand why you think it is so hard for the Democrats to gain overwhelming support amongst the middle class voters.  Why do they absolutely NEED the votes of the young, poor, infirm, etc?

If their policies make sense for the USA as a whole and are going to enable massive improvements in our country, why aren't the vast majority of typical middle class voters in their camp?  Based on the data in this link, they should have a slam dunk...

I know the Pro Life / Pro Choice issue skews the vote.  If it wasn't for that would the majority of American's vote Democrat? Thoughts? 

G2A What Percent Are You?

By the way, this could get exciting yet !!!
CNN Romney Debate Bump?
NYT Poll Info

Vote YES for MN Voter ID

I'll start this one with a comment from Hiram.  Be patient, we will get to the marriage amendment later this week.  Let's work through this first.

"There are other things as well. It's the Republican Party through through it's attempt to impose voter ID which is intent on rigging the election in their favor. Such an attack on the integrity of our political systems would be inconceivable coming from Democrats."  Hiram

My reasons for supporting the amendment are pretty simple:
  • Are the DFL policy arguments so weak that they require the most off the grid to people to win.  What does that say for their policies?
  • Voting is more important than getting on a plane or buying a beer, therefore ID requirements should be more robust, not less.
  • The Republicans will also likely lose votes as the "standard of proof" is increased, they seem ok with this. 

Protect My Vote
MinnPost Voter ID Page
MPP Voter Suppression

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Conservatives: Not Conservative?

I have been having an interesting exchange of comments with Bill Prendergast at the MN Progressive Project.

In summary from my perspective, Bill thinks that most "Conservative / Republican" politicians knowingly lie to get themselves elected. They profess and swear by the philosophy of Conservatism on the campaign trail, and then become Liberal big spenders once they get into office. All the while knowing that adding spending and growing government is the only way they can maintain their power. He feels strongly that this character flaw is terrible, sick and will lead America into a brick wall.  Whereas the Liberal politicians are truthful, ethical and facing reality with open minds and therefore can govern more effectively. (the last sentence is my assumption)

Here is the link to the details.  The discussion of interest is in the comments. MPP Romney Education The Worst

Warren Meyer in this Forbes article seems to support Bill's philosophy that both parties seem to be interested in growing government when he says:
"The political incentives are for these lines to always go up, which is why the spending line has gone up almost irrespective of the party in charge for 60 years." Forbes Federal Deficit: Spending Problem
Of course I pointed Bill back to our continuum and the relativity post. And asked the following... Mitt is likely more Liberal than some of his more Conservative supporters, however he is likely significantly much more Conservative than Obama. Now does that make him Liberal or Conservative?  Also, I asked who I should vote for if I want spending and revenues back at ~20% of GDP? It seems he did not see that as being attainable, which of course I disagree with.

Below are the links I had in the comments.  Thoughts regarding Bill's Reality or my comments?

G2A Political Continuum
G2A Conflict Collusion
G2A Relativity
G2A Problem with Intent

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

RAS Area Legislative Candidate Forum

From my friends at the Legislative Action Committee.  I'll be there unless the "boss" has different plans. Mark your calendars !!!

Join us for a Legislative Candidate Forum on Thursday, October 25th. Check-in begins at 6:45 pm. We will have volunteers available to help you determine your district and candidates. The forum will begin at 7:00 and end at 8:00 pm. It will be held at the Education Service Center located at 4148 Winnetka Ave N in New Hope. (SE corner of Winnetka and 42nd Aves N.) Parking lot and entrance is located on the south side of the building. The forum is specific to all issues that impact public education.

Candidates invited to participate are:
District 46 A Ryan Winkler (DFL) and John Swanson (R)
District 46 Ron Latz (DFL) and Paul Scofield (R)
District 45 B Mike Freiberg (DFL) and Reid Johnson (R)
District 45 A Lyndon Carlson (DFL) and Jeff Pauly (R)
District 45 Ann Rest (DFL) and Blair Tremere (R)
District 44 A Aubrey Britton (DFL) and Sarah Anderson (R)
District 44 Terri Bonoff (DFL) and David Gaither ( R )
District 40 B Debra Hilstrom (DFL) and Richard Cushing (R)
District 40 A Michael Nelson (DFL)
District 40 Chris Eaton (DFL)

This is a great opportunity for YOU to interview the candidates for their jobs. Feel free to bring questions or just listen. These are the people who represent you at the Capitol in St. Paul.

Please contact Kimberley_Lewis@Rdale.org or 763-504-4087 for more information.

Forum Flyer
RAS LAC Page
Who Represents Me Link

Blue = MN Senate   Green = MN Legislature

Monday, October 1, 2012

2013 Tax Increases

Look at the rapidly approaching opportunity for all of us to do something to help lower the National Debt, stimulate our economy, and/or transfer wealth to the less fortunate.  Of course the Liberals are only concerned about the folks who will see the $412/yr to $3540/yr increase, since they are "paying more than their fair share" !!!   Whereas they are not too concerned about those that pay most of the Nation's bills and will see a $14,173 increase, "since they are not paying their fair share" !!!  (see table in CNN link)

Its hard to even type that with a straight face... I've ball parked my household increase at $500+ per month !!!  I wonder what I won't buy, hire done, invest, etc to pay for that?

Remember what Cochrane said about the CBO / Keynesian method.  The CBO will likely count the ~$6,000 they lift from my wallet and count it as a ~$9,000 GDP increase...  Does that make sense, since I would have likely spent it on something new and shiny with an engine in it?  Or on gas for my current high power toys? Or college for my to be Freshman daughter next year?

Thoughts?

CNN $3500 Fiscal Cliff
Tax Policy Center Report
Bloomberg CBO Cochrane
FOX News Middle Income: $2000/yr
Fidelity Tax Hike Descriptions
Fidelity Tax Hike Calculator
SM Healthcare Personal Tax Impact 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Support Fix the Debt Org

Usually when I get a politically inclined email at work from the the management, they are encouraging us to contact our legislators to pass a free trade or a transportation funding bill.  I am happy to be a good employee and help lobby for the free trade bills, since I believe in them.  However I tend to ignore the Transportation funding emails since I think everyone begging for more is part of our problem right now.

The latest email is one that I can truly get behind.  Our CEO is asking us to support the Fix the Debt organization.  It looks like a wonderful group who will likely get my signature on their petition and likely a donation.  Though it looks like their debt clock hasn't been updated for awhile on a few of their web pages.

Thoughts?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Obama: The Plan and Intent?

Oh let's get both the critiques out the way simultaneously. Here are some J's comments to start things off.  He also has the shaver ready to go...
"I scored Barack Obama as I have said before, based on his INTENTIONS, not on what he has been able to achieve, and not based upon what he intends the result to be but what the actual result will be. He obviously believes that redistribution is somehow compatible with free market capitalism and of course that is utter nonsense. His naïveté and insular ideology put him in a class by himself." J Ewing 
"You presume I have no evidence for what Obama's intentions are, but I have all the evidence I need. He has increased federal spending from 20 to 24% of GDP in just one term. He has taken over, or will eventually through Obama care, the healthcare sector, which is another 14% of the economy. He has taken over a portion of the auto industry, something like 3% of GDP. His EPA has effectively assumed control of the energy sector of the economy, and the bailouts and added "oversight" look like a takeover of the financial sector. Total regulatory burden of the federal government is now estimated at well north of $1.5 trillion, or 10% of GDP. Let's see… Carry the two…. I come up with about 51% right now." J Ewing
Obama Goals
Obama's 2013 Budget
CBO Healthcare Penalties
G2A Political Continuum

WSJ Bain 77 Analysis and Romney

Since Hiram loves to comment on the evils of Mitt and Bain over and over, this post is for him.  I am pretty sure Hiram would like to ask Romney to shave his head so he could look for the 666 tattoo. Hopefully a dedicated effort / post will help clear the air.  I thought of writing about cute little adoreable puppies to see if he can tie them to Romney's business practices, but I figured he could.

Here is a link to an analysis that the Wall Street Journal did back in January.  They say right up front that both sides will find it full of ammunition for their particular views. (ie paradigms)
WSJ Bain 77 Analysis

I am copying in some of Hiram's comments from our "Economic Theory" discussions to get us started.  Is Romney God, the Devil  or just another human with flaws and strengths?  Maybe we can do this about Obama next so my Conservative readers can expel some of their angst...  Have fun !!!!
"Mitt Romney made his fortune selling America short. In an economic environment where expansion was becoming more difficult, he focused his career on contraction. If you look at his tax returns, what you find is a lot of investments designed to insulate himself and his fortunes from the problems of America's economy. These strategies worked out well for him, and on a personal level, I don't have any problem with that. But those aren't strategies which contribute to growth or demonstrate any understanding at all of how America can grow. And the problem with Mitt is that is huge personal success has blinded him to the limitations of that success and how it was achieved. For one thing, as a guy who made a fortune laying people off, he views hiring someone, not as a contract engaged in for an unsentimental mutual benefit, but as an act of compassion as his recent tin-eared commercial demonstrates." Hiram


"By the way, this emphasis on predictability that was essential to the Romney way of doing business, is ironic. The key to the Romney way is to select businesses which are save. Office supplies, pizzas, gym shoes, these are all things that are relatively immune to innovation. The demand for them is relatively constant, there isn't much product differentiation, so the key to profitability in those businesses is to cut costs. Romney's access to capital which made it possible for the businesses he involved himself with gave him economies of scale which he could use to drive the local mom and pop stores that previously dominated those market sectors, out of business. What was hard to foresee then, but is very clear now is that those businesses aren't risk free at all, and that the risk doesn't come from product innovation, but from the internet. The business model of category killer retailers, so predictable in the past, is now under pressure from the internet. I noted in the Journal the other day that Staples, one of the Romney success stories, is now closing stores, laying off workers and refocusing on internet sales. It's strength has become it's weakness, since it's lack of product differentiation makes what it has to sell ideal for selling over the internet. That makes it no longer a Mitt Romney kind of business of which there are fewer all the time." Hiram
"There are a lot of objective truths around. Four years ago, the country was in disastrous shape for a variety of reasons. One of them is that we got lazy. We stopped making things. We confused the inflation of bubbles with the creation of value. We fooled ourselves into thinking that folks like Mitt Romney could create wealth by shuffling paper around, allowing our country to become a Ponzi Scheme. And as with all Ponzi Schemes, the delusion has continued long after the reality. We think if we try one more time, give the Mitt Romney's of the world one more chance, they will make it all right. It's not going to happen. The only way things get better is if we get back to work, start making things again, start dealing with the problems Republicans want to kick down the road in hopes that some confidence fairy will make things all better again."  Hiram

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Eurozone Crisis

Maybe Mr Krugman was incorrect, or maybe this is what the USA will look like when we finally figure out we are spending too much. And are forced to do something about it.  Thoughts?

BBC Eurozone Crisis
SkyNews Painful Reforms Needed
SkyNews Greece

Krugman, Becker, Buchanan and Other Economists

Following from the last post...  If all these folks are so smart, why are they interpreting the facts so differently and promoting very very different recommendations?

The Economists for Romney definitely are not aligned with Obama's Plan or Paul Krugman's Views.  And William Anderson even set up a site called Krugman in Wonderland.

Here are some ideas:
  • They have completely different belief systems. (Classical, Marxist, Neoclassical, Keynesian, Chicago, Austrian, etc)  And these philosophies affect how they interpret everything. (Is the sun circling the earth or the earth circling the sun?)
  • There are so many factors in play that are varying over time that they have a very hard time assigning Causation.  How often do you think an Economist gets to repeat the identical "experiment" on a Global level? Never...
  • There crystal balls are very foggy. How well do you think they can predict what will happen regarding all those factors across the globe? Not...
  • They all have different concepts regarding what SUCCESS is? If 80% of the population does extremely well and the GDP is maximized, is that success?  Or is success when 100% do moderately well and GDP is half of it's maximum?  This will definitely drive different recommendations.
  • They are human, have access to different information, they like their paychecks, maybe like popularity, etc.
What have I missed?  What else should we understand about these interesting Weather control and prediction people.

Wiki Economics and Economic Theories
G2A Correlation Does NOT Imply Causation
TWM Austrian vs Keynesian
IL Differences

Monday, September 24, 2012

And The Economists Say

In the last post, I apparently inadvertently insulted one of Laurie's favorite Economists.  Here are some of our thrilling comments.
"Apparently this Liberal writer likes the term European Social Democracy and Laurie came up with it, so I am happy to stick with it. Krugman on ESD vs America"  John
"Are you intentionally annoying when you refer to a prominent, nobel prize winning economist as a liberal writer? 
"Because one wins an award does not indicate his bias or lack there of, typically I find Krugman referenced on Liberal websites, therefore I assume his views resonate with Liberal readers. There are plenty of award winning economists that show up mostly on Conservative sites. I kind of assume their views tend to resonate with Conservatives."  John 
"Lastly, returning to tax revenue equal to 20% of GDP without cutting defense, medicare or interest payments is not moderate, but you just go ahead and keep reading your nameless, award winning conservative economists, who advocate for policies that led us into the great recession." Laurie

"I prefer reality-based thinking and am quite capable of separating fact from opinion. Expert, evidence based opinion is not the same as bias." Laurie
Below I have given a number of links...  Apparently the Economic "Experts" have wide ranging opinions.  Now are they biased, are they seeing the evidence differently, are they only considering certain evidence, do they have political agendas, do they have personal agendas, etc?  Thoughts?

Ironically, you will note that Paul Krugman's article is called "Conscience of a Liberal". So is he a Liberal writer as well as an award winning Economist?  I guess that is a matter of perspective.

Economists for Romney
Bloomberg Economists Risk Labeling
Economist Obama's Blamelessness
NYT Conscience of a Liberal
Economists for Obama

On the lighter side...  Onion Economists Evacuate !!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Action Reqd: Political Continuum

Ok. To make this work, I need your participation.  I want you to reply with where each of these groups and individuals are on this continuum.  Just like this:
A = 2, B = 4, C=4, D = 4, E = 9, F = 4, G = 7

If you can help define Modern Liberal and Modern Conservative with regard to property rights, wealth transfer, safety nets, human basic needs, etc, you earn extra bonus points.

I frustrated Bill over at MPP by apparently defining Liberal incorrectly, so I want your help in better understanding where the modern Liberal lands on this continuum from your perspective.

Thanks for your help in this very important research project !!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mother Jones and Romney Speech

Here are the thoughts I posted on the MN Prog Proj site.

"I listened to the whole video and I must have missed the part where he insulted the worthless cretins... I heard him say that the 47% would not vote for him because they pay no federal income taxes while still getting benefits from the government, so lower taxes and fewer benefits will not entice these voters and therefore he will focus on the 53% who are paying the bill. (seems rational)

The 47% on the other hand will vote for the candidate that offers them something for nothing. Isn't that an accurate description of what you like about Obama and the Democrats? They are offering free food, housing, healthcare, college/tech education, etc.

Remember Ben Franklin's quote "When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

By the way I wonder why they didn't post more of the video? Could Romney have explained how his policies would help the less fortunate and MJ chose not to share that?

Thoughts?"

I am sure I will probably just be called a brain washed Conservative that isn't worth talking to over there...  So any thoughts from this more diverse and open minded crowd?

MN Prog Proj Romney
Mother Jones Romney
FOX News Romney

Monday, September 17, 2012

THEY Want Students to Fail !!!

I suppose the corollary that follows the Teacher's Union's assertion that they are working to provide "Great Public Schools for Every Student" is that most politicians, school boards, superintendents, administrative staffs, principals, etc are not striving for "Great Public Schools for Every Student"...
 
I mean, repeatedly I hear that:
  • WE need tenure or THEY will fire the good teachers to save money.
  • WE need to strike or THEY will not pay enough to attract and retain good teachers.
  • WE need to overcome NCLB or ... (Oops, that is their stated goal)
 Wouldn't their needing to bravely fight for it, mean that these School Boards and Superintendents want something else? Maybe these educated minded people that run these Public schools actually want their districts to fail??? Since I have watched the RAS Supt and Board for a few years, I find this very had to believe.

And maybe the politicians are saying to themselves, I really want my State to be known for its poor education system. Hard to believe...

Thoughts?