Can We Get Along w/o Illegal Workers?

Is the era of cheap labor over? Many Americans prefer unemployment to nasty sorts of work. Some of these jobs are the kinds of things my generation did in our youth. We never intended to make a career of these things. It was a sort of rite of passage. Sometime during the 1980s and 1990, these jobs were taken over by immigrants, who - frankly - do a better job.

It wasn't always this way. Until the 1970s, we didn't have immigrants to do these jobs. In the 1960s the percentage of immigrants in the U.S. was at an all-time low. It was only after immigration reforms of 1965 opened the floodgates that the situation changed.This was not a golden age; it was just different. You could usually find a job, but many of the jobs sucked. Not only didn't we have much immigrant labor, but women's participation in the labor market was much lower.

Teenagers often make poor workers. That is why immigrants replaced them. Minimum wage is minimum wage. Immigrant labor is more likely to earn it. If an employer has a choice between an inexperience and perhaps unreliable teenager and an experienced immigrant for the same price, who will he choose?

I hear similar things from old guys in forestry. They used to hire local itinerant labor, called them "no-accounts". (Today these sorts of people are occupying Wall Street & living in Obamavilles across the U.S.) The story was that the foremen had to follow them all the time to keep them sober and moving. Immigrant labor crews do the work in less time for similar money. Contrary to popular misconception, immigrant labor costs MORE per hour, at least in forestry, but they do it in fewer hours. And it is much better to get the job done quickly.

Think about what happened. Teenagers are no longer introduced to the world of work, or at least not the crappier types. The "no accounts" have nothing to do but collect welfare or hang around on the streets. Now the teenagers and even the "no accounts" think that such dirty or hard work is below them.

And we may have turned a corner on immigration. Even after we get out of the Obama doldrums, immigration may not return to its previous levels. There are other places where people might want to go and others may just stay at home.

Then there are demographics. A large percentage of recent immigrants have come from Mexico. But the Mexican population growth has stabilized. Within a few years it is expected to drop BELOW that of the U.S. The Hispanic tide has reached its high water mark. In fact the whole world is entering a new phase of growth or diminishing growth of population.

So what are our choices? Maybe Americans will have to get used to doing some of these crappy jobs again, at least when we are starting out. We did it before. When I was in college, I worked at fast-food, did some agricultural labor (haying) and loaded bags at factories. Chrissy, who grew up on a farm did all sorts of harvesting and animal care. As far as I know, her parents never hired anybody, commenting that was what kids were for. Incidental farm work was one of the costs of dating their daughter. It didn't hurt me. Some of my friends detassled corn as summer work. We did it before and we can do it again.

And with the diminishing of cheap labor, more of these sorts of jobs will be automated.

On the plus side, jobs are available, even during the Obama doldrums. The downside is that nobody from around here wants to do them.

We can get along w/o so much immigrant labor, if Americans will step up to the task, as we did before. Even dirty work beats just hanging around on the streets.

BTW - I once asked a guy with a sign that said "will work for food" if he was willing to do some yard work for a good lunch. He got really mad and used the F-word. I bet finding anybody who would really work for food would be really hard. I am glad that there really are not people so desperate that they would really work for food, but I really wish they would quit the hyperbole.

Posted by Christine & John at November 12, 2011 7:13 PM
Comment #331907

Sort of analogous to the Penn State thing. It needs to be kids over football. Likewise, it should be enforcement of law over ‘jobs that Americans won’t do’, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 12, 2011 8:01 PM
Comment #331916
(Today these sorts of people are occupying Wall Street & living in Obamavilles across the U.S.)

C&J much like the great depression era the President in the saddle when the horse quit running earns the right to have his name synonymous with the bad times, With this in mind the correct name would be Bushvilles or if you prefer Wvilles or BushIIvilles or even GWBvilles. Nice try to rewrite history to serve your partisan cause though.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 13, 2011 10:49 AM
Comment #331920

If I were an employer and all my potential employees would rather be unemployed than work for me, I think I would interpret that as a message that the wages that I offer are too low. If those Alabama business owners offered $20/hour we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

I did agricultural labor for minimum wage when I was a teenager. It certainly was back-braking work. I had the luxury of living off of the largess of my parents. Others are not so lucky. If a job doesn’t pay enough to support a household then no one will be eager to fill the position unless the work was unusually easy/fun/interesting.

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 13, 2011 11:41 AM
Comment #331923


They are Obamavilles because they are the locus of the protest that Obama has given at rhetorical support. They are not the Hoovervilles, where poor people are forced to live. The OWS has chosen this sort of protest and it will have predictable consequences. They will soon be up to their knees in shit. You just cannot maintain a long-term street protest.


You might be wrong about that. It might be that life on unemployment is not so bad or that the worker is just too lazy and no account.

We also have the realities. Some people are not worth $20 an hour. And maybe you cannot break even if you pay that much. Many low paying jobs are in low margin industries.

We recently thinned 85 acres of pine. We did it to maintain the forest health, but when we figured out all the numbers, we actually lost money on the harvest. In a better year, we would have come out ahead. But unless we can get consumers to pay significantly more for food, wood and services, we cannot pay unskilled labor much more.

I think in the longer run, we can handle this with labor saving technologies, i.e. replace arms with machines. We can do a lot of that already. Ironically, workers organizations resist this. So we cannot get workers at a price we can afford, but those same workers get mad when we figure out ways not to need them.

There was an interesting piece on Brazilian TV about sugar cane harvests. Sugar cane harvest is a terrible job. In the American South, plantations owner often used to hire Irish workers rather than risk their slaves in this work. Today machines, similar to combines, are doing most of the harvest and they expect that within a few years virtually all the harvest will be done by machines.

So machines have eliminated one of the worst jobs in the world that everybody compared to slavery. But now there are complaints that the machines are taking away work.

You cannot please everybody, so why even try?

Posted by: C&J at November 13, 2011 12:09 PM
Comment #331927
We also have the realities. Some people are not worth $20 an hour. And maybe you cannot break even if you pay that much. Many low paying jobs are in low margin industries.

In that case, perhaps those industries just aren’t feasible economically?

But unless we can get consumers to pay significantly more for food, wood and services, we cannot pay unskilled labor much more.

I think consumers will pay more. Starvation is a very good motivation.

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 13, 2011 1:19 PM
Comment #331931


Consumers have options to import.

What we will do in the longer run is replace people with machines. We have done that a lot already. One of the beneficial developments will be that we can automate some of these jobs out of existence.

But the problem is also with some people not being worth $20 an hour. Most crappy jobs are transitional. I worked in McDonald’s when I was worth minimum wage. Today I am worth a lot more. But McDonald’s and jobs like that gave me transitional simple skills and helped me prove that I was not a sac-o-shit (a Wisconsin term at the time for a “no account”).

I understand that some people don’t want to take bad jobs. But then they really have no right to claim that no jobs are available.

Posted by: C&J at November 13, 2011 1:34 PM
Comment #331935

How about Carter/Regan/Bush/Clinton/Bush/ObamaVille?

From today’s Washington Post: “Out here in the Shenandoah Valley, in quiet places like Staunton and Harrisonburg, the Occupy Wall St protesters have inspired weekly, nonviolent, gatherings of homeowners, students, farmers, teachers, retirees and even small-business owners and children.”

“We just want to return our lives to what it once meant to be American: equality in every sense of the word; elected representation that gives a voice to every American, regardless how much money we can contribute; and an honest assessment of how to fairly regulate the economic systems that we all—not just the big corporations and financial services industry, but every small biz, every family and every individual – depend on.”

Top level stuff, hits the nail on the head, etc. This OWS writer expresses the feelings I post about, almost daily. The writer badly wants some problems addressed.

In similar words: return to a pre-globalized economy, severe limiting of the money influence in politics/govt, heavy use of anti-trust law to trim monopolies/conglomerates, and enforcement of immigration law.

That’s what the OWS person, Donald Wilson Bush, of Staunton would like as I understand his opine.

I believe that the 99% believes that gov’t has been usurped, replaced with Corpocracy. To the point where it is not PC to talk of protectionism, regulation of commerce, or leveling the economic playing field. We desperately need some sanity returned to the system. Technological development that enhances efficiency and replaces workers is a good thing, going to continue. As sane people we all understand that. At the same time, implementing a policy of flooding the nation with illegal immigrants with the intention of driving wages down so we can compete with China/India in the globalised economy is not sane. It works for the Corpocracy but not for the majority working class.

Were we devoid of illegal workers wages would go up. So would consumer goods, but those cost would balance out across the US economy. But, we aren’t allowed to have a US economy, not PC at all. We must play into the global economy or apparently, we don’t get to play at all. Go unemployed or go to hell … take yer choice.

And, then there is the solution: 3rd party w/a diff … abolish CP and implement REAL CFR … oversight (accountability) for elected, etc. Another approach is through Move To Amend and Reclaim Democracy with the intent of abolishing CP. We actually have choices. Gonna take either approach 4 to 5 years to have an effect. Ain’t going to be pretty, IMO.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 13, 2011 2:00 PM
Comment #331936
Consumers have options to import.

Aha! The free market in action.

some people not being worth $20 an hour.

If one is able-bodied and determined, I think one can make oneself worth $20/hr.

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 13, 2011 2:01 PM
Comment #331941


I agree that a person CAN make himself worth $20 hour, but many who are not. There are some people who actually have negative value. It is hard to fire people, unfortunately, but I have had some employees who I would pay to stay away.

I fear that I have created too many points in this post. I can think of at least five cans I have opened.

1. the extent that jobs are available even in this economy
2. whether or not some people are willing to work
3. Capacity of people to work and their value
4. Macro economics
5. Micro economics of particular firms.

My short answers
1. jobs are available
2. Some people are unwilling to work give the alternatives of mooching or unemployment.
3. some people are not worth even minimum wage to employers
4. Under a regime of relatively free trade or even a large market, producers cannot impose above market prices.
5. Some firms cannot afford to pay high wages at all and no firms can afford to pay more than the workers are worth in terms of production, under free conditions.

Posted by: C&J at November 13, 2011 3:43 PM
Comment #331948


So you claim there are many people who under ordinary circumstances will never be able to pull their own weight in our own society. These people will never be able to earn even minimum wage, which means we have only a few choices regarding what we do with them:

1. Let them Starve (Stalin’s solution)
2. Kill them before they starve (Hitler’s solution)
3. Make them dependent on Government Handouts/Welfare (Social Democracy’s solution)
4. Rely on charity to keep them alive, inevitably leading to solution #1
5. Somehow make these people into productive citizens (slavery perhaps?)

(note, please don’t take the above too seriously; I don’t mean to imply that anyone here desires slavery/death for these people).

On a more serious note, how do you think the situation in AL will turn out? Farmers are losing money if they cannot get their crops harvested. This means they must raise their prices in order to entice American Laborers or else they will go out of business. Will the expensive American food be able to compete with food imported from overseas? If not, then I guess those farms will shut down. Is this an acceptable outcome?

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 13, 2011 4:36 PM
Comment #331950

Warped, you are misstating #3…

3. Make them dependant upon the government by forcibly taking from those who are productive in society by force, allowing them to vote for taking more and more…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 13, 2011 4:45 PM
Comment #331951


if you were to make the minimum wage $20 an hour as opposed to $7 or $8 an hour, the extra cost would be reflected in the price of those goods and services. the result would be inflated prices which would result in that $20 an hour having no more buying power than $7 an hour did when prices were lower. those inflated prices would also give those like china and india an even bigger edge on the world market.

“In that case, perhaps those industries just aren’t feasible economically?”

what industries would those be?

Posted by: dbs at November 13, 2011 5:28 PM
Comment #331952
3. Make them dependant upon the government by forcibly taking from those who are productive in society by force, allowing them to vote for taking more and more…

Fair enough. Although there is also the option of printing lots of money and creating massive hyperinflation. I’m not endorsing option 3 (I’m not an adherent of social democracy); I just want to make sure I haven’t forgotten any choices.

if you were to make the minimum wage $20 an hour as opposed to $7 or $8 an hour, the extra cost would be reflected in the price of those goods and services. the result would be inflated prices which would result in that $20 an hour having no more buying power than $7 an hour did when prices were lower. those inflated prices would also give those like china and india an even bigger edge on the world market.

I never said I wanted to raise minimum wage to $20. If you read my dialogue with C&J you can clearly see that I acknowledge the cost of American grown food would go up if the owners had to pay the labor $20/hr.

what industries would those be?
The impetuses of this discussion are the farms in Alabama who are unable to find anyone willing to do manual labor for minimum wage. Unemployed Alabamans seem to think their labor is worth more than that. If paying the laborers more causes the farm to run out of business, then so be it. It’ll be the free market at work. If refusing to pay the laborers more causes the crop to rot out in the field, thus causing the farm’s financial ruin, then so be it. It’ll be the free market at work.
give those like china and india an even bigger edge on the world market.
If China and India have a way to grow food cheaper than we do, don’t they deserve to succeed on the free market? Posted by: Warped Reality at November 13, 2011 5:40 PM
Comment #331954

Warped & Rhinhold

This labor problem on the farm is NOT only an American problem. In fact, food production is a challenge all over

We faced it before and solved it with technology. We will do it again. I have seen tractors that drive themselves using GPS. In forestry, we have machines that let one man do the work of hundreds. This creates jobs for skilled workers.

Re unskilled - it is hard. There is no future for the unskilled or the unmotivated. I suppose there will always be a mob. We have to support them, but not at too high a standard. And keep them out of sight if possible.

Re your joke about Stalin etc - Actually, Stalin and Hitler used lots of the same tactics, but there was a BIG difference.

Stalin, Hitler etc targeted the MOST productive people. They were not going after the poor. In fact, they used the poor and their feelings of envy to get at the Kulacks, Jews etc. This is the danger of class warfare. All the really bad guys use class warfare.

Rhinhold makes a good point. It has been a curse of Democracy since the time of ancient Athens that the non-productive use the power of their votes to steal from the productive and call it justice.

Posted by: C&J at November 13, 2011 5:47 PM
Comment #331957
We have to support them, but not at too high a standard. And keep them out of sight if possible.
How would this work?
to get at the Kulacks, Jews etc

From what I’ve read, most of the peoples targeted in the Holocaust were not terribly wealthy: The Romani, the disabled, Jews etc… Jews were targeted because Nazi propaganda associated Judaism with Bolsevism. The disabled were targeted because the Nazis didn’t want to fund a welfare state to support them. The Romani were targeted because of their poverty. At the same time, Stalin targeted the Kulaks. Although the Kulaks were a bit wealthier than other peasants, they were still quite poor in the grand scheme of things.

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 13, 2011 6:39 PM
Comment #331960


The Nazis targeted the Jews because their racial theory said so. They associated Jews with Bolsheviks because they hated both. They were NOT after them because they were communists. The Nazis and communists obviously could find common ground (in Poland, unfortunately)

Jews were not poor compared to the average German.

They also targeted Romani because of their racial theories. It had nothing to do with their poverty.

They eliminated handicapped because they were building a master race. There was no place for the weak. It was like ancient Sparta.

Nazis had a racial theory of life. They had it thought through in great detail and I studied this when I lived in Poland. It was a horrible theory, but internally logical.

People belonged to ethnic groups and were treated as such. Individuals didn’t matter.

Communists have almost exactly the same operational theory, but it is based on class. The targeted whole classes for oppression and extermination. The Kulaks, for example, were class enemies. Individual actions of Kulaks made no difference.

The basis of both major totalitarian theories is the same. Groups matter, individuals do not. Both were revolutionary socialist movements, with the goal of exalting the collective over the individual. That is one reason they were so evil.

Neither Nazis nor communists were really much moved by economic imperatives as we understand them. Economically, the Holocaust made no sense, neither did the collectivization nor the oppression of Kulaks etc. Lenin had to make a temporary truce with economic reality under NEP, but they abandoned this as soon as they could. The Nazis always subordinated economics to politics.

Re not giving too much to the non-productive people - we should enforce existing laws about vagrancy and littering. Also I think we should work to make housing cheaper, to address homeless and try to prevent people as much as possible from falling into dependency. The Welfare Reform of the 1990s was good. We should not backslide.

Posted by: C&J at November 13, 2011 7:25 PM
Comment #331961
Rhinhold makes a good point. It has been a curse of Democracy since the time of ancient Athens that the non-productive use the power of their votes to steal from the productive and call it justice.

Yes C&J, the idle rich and management level people have done that for many years. The poor as we are told don’t vote.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 13, 2011 8:10 PM
Comment #331963


I dislike the idle rich as much as the idle poor.

Management is an important and productive function, BTW. Workers in well-managed operations don’t work harder. In fact, they often exert less brute force labor, but they produce more.

It is extremely difficult to measure contributions made by various parts of an organization and everybody tends to think he is the only one really working.

But we can say with certainty that those who don’t work at all are not part of the productive class. In the modern U.S., people in the top 20% of the income groups put in many more hours than those at the bottom.

If you do not produce any wealth, you really cannot be cheated out of it. Therefore, saying that a welfare recipient is being ripped off by society is always wrong.

Posted by: C&J at November 13, 2011 8:31 PM
Comment #331969
The Nazis targeted the Jews because their racial theory said so.

You are ignoring the entire premise of the Nazi’s Social Darwinian ideas. Nazi Eugenicists observed that members of the “Nordic Race” tended to be wealthier than other people. Thus, the eugenicists concluded that the “Nordic Race” must be a “Master Race”. Before the Holocaust, Jews were not that much wealthier than the average European. Many Jews in Germany were Communist, which conflicted with the Nazi utopia of inequality.

The same goes for the Romani and disabled. Nazi eugenicists thought their poverty signified that they were not genetically fit to continue living.

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 13, 2011 9:39 PM
Comment #331976


Genetically unfit - yes.

The Nazis were not motivated by economic ideas. They were a type of Darwinist and racists as you say.

They were NOT trying to make Germans richer as their main goal. They were trying to purify the race and establish racial justice. Their idea for the Nordic race was NOT that they would be materially rich. In fact being rich in goods was very much NOT what they wanted. The ideal was the Nordic warrior, he lived on very little but was spiritually strong.

The Nazis did NOT believe in inequality. They believed in racial differences. Like the communists did with class, they divided the world into immutable groups. Some groups were enemies and had to be gotten rid of, according to the theory.

Their ideas are odious to us and very different from the way we think.

IMO - the ideas of totalitarians - both communist and Nazis - are just very hard for us in free countries to understand because we don’t experience them. The same goes for religion in some places.

Both Nazis and communists hated the market; they hated merchants & distrusted free commerce. For them, competition was NOT among individuals or firms. It was a competition among groups races (Nazis) classes (communist). We are just different & better.

We beat the Nazis in 1945 and the communists in 1989. Their idea will be back, since they are very comforting to some sorts of people. Eternal vigilance is the price of our liberty. But to be vigilant, we need to understand the nature of the challenge.

Nazis and communist are not mere extensions of our own politics. They are fundamentally different. They are collectivists and revolutionary socialists of the type we rarely produce.

Posted by: C&J at November 14, 2011 4:44 AM
Comment #331979
The Nazis did NOT believe in inequality.

“Class Collaboration” was a key element of Fascist ideology.

Some groups were enemies and had to be gotten rid of, according to the theory.

The Romanai were Aryan, genetically speaking. They were targeted by the Nazis because they were impoverished and refused to integrate.

I regret moving the topic from the labor shortage in AL to Fascism, perhaps we can return to the original topic now?

Posted by: Warped Reality at November 14, 2011 12:52 PM
Comment #331981

A word about your “Obamavilles.”

Quit while you’re ahead. The association I think you’re making is to Hoovervilles. Trouble is, Hoover and his party pretty much owned that name because they were unwilling to take the extraordinary steps necessary to change things.

The protestors themselves are not calling these Obamavilles. They’re calling themselves the Occupy Wall Street Movement. You might want to take that as a hint.

Or maybe you’re thinking Obama owns them because they’re going in his direction, or something like that. Truth is, though, folks moved independent of him, so he doesn’t own it there either.

I think you underestimate the sheer depth and breadth of the anger at the folks on Wall Street. You needlessly fall into smug, dismissive commentary about the people at these protests, and that clouds your perspective on things.

It keeps you from realizing that whatever discontent there was with the establishment, the Tea Party’s failed to do whatever was necessary to get rid of it. The Republicans have not settled people’s anxieties, which means they very well could be on the receiving end of that same anger, too.

It keeps you from realizing that your party’s painted itself into a corner in terms of all the things it won’t compromise on. If it won’t move to better regulate Wall Street, if it won’t let a consumer agency to be properly established to prevent predatory lending and credit practices, if it won’t do what it takes to resolve the massive economic ineffeciencies that have followed the crash of 2008, then what will it do?

As for the labor shortage?

You know, I think Republicans should go and read Adam Smith’s the Wealth of Nations. And by that, I mean really read it.

You can talk about people being somehow stuck up, but let’s be blunt: most people will refuse that work because they can’t afford to maintain their standard of living or pay off their obligations based on it. It is more expensive to lead a middle class lifestyle in this country, and most people will not willingly take a huge pay cut, and give up all the things that they see as necessary, simply to work a dirty, dangerous, and/or exhausting job. Sure, people might do what’s necessary when reduced to it, but people will fight like hell not to be reduced to it.

In other words, if you really want a bunch of people who were working good jobs that kept them in good economic standing to come out and pick your fruit under the hot sun, then you’re going to have to pay them quite a bit more than you’re paying some guy who just got off the bus from Guatemala.

As a person who has to support my family, who has to pay off a student loan, to take a job at lower pay, with more exhausting work involved simply won’t be worth it.

Rather than help them, the long-term use of these workers helped displaced American workers who might have once been willing to do it, and created an addiction on grower’s part to labor priced at that cheap of a level. If the laws had been enforced properly, structured properly, then we might not have this dilemma. We helped the big growers and the businessfolks out there get used to being cheapskates on labor, and they organized their businesses accordingly.

In whatever case, what Adam Smith would tell you is this: pressures can work to lower costs on labor, sure, but there are also always going to be upward pressures, and the free market won’t let the people you’re trying to cheap out on forget it.

Businesses cannot both charge more for their goods and services, and demand that employees take less in wages, benefits, and compensation. Like businesses, people have to balance what they take in on one hand, with what they give out from their other hand. If businesses are demanding more from people than they have immediately available, we will either see them not spend as much, which is bad for business, or we will see them spend via debt financing, which is bad for them in the long term, if they’re not able to pay it off at some point.

The problem with the Republican’s one-sided view of the economy is that our economy cannot sustain any long term growth unless people can afford to bear the burden of being such enthusiastic consumers. If they can’t, the doldrums we are in will last a lot longer, and no amount of snarky language at the expense of OWS protestors will change that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2011 2:14 PM
Comment #331989

SD writes; “As a person who has to support my family, who has to pay off a student loan, to take a job at lower pay, with more exhausting work involved simply won’t be worth it.”

That is a very revealing comment. When SD writes it “won’t be worth it”, what exactly does he mean?

Obviously he is not comparing it to another job that is available to him that is “worth it”. I am therefore left with believing that at some point going on the dole is more attractive, monetarily, than working for a wage which will garner fewer benefits than the dole.

I suspect that this decision differs with each person. The one who was earning $50 per hour will not consider a job paying $30 per hour. And, the person who was earning $20 per hour will not consider a job paying the minimum wage.

It is remarkable that we live in a country that offers our citizens these choices. In times past, in both this country and elsewhere, living on the dole was not nearly so pleasant as it must be today. Apparently, we…as a country, have made living on the dole more attractive than it use to be. Have we made it too attractive? Are there benefits, other than purely monetary, that accrue to a person working for a minimum wage rather than living on the dole? If so, what might they be?

I can think of many and will list them if anyone is interested.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 14, 2011 3:49 PM
Comment #331990

One would think that conservatives would like the Greek democracy. Only 20% of the male population were considered citizens and eligible to participate.

Dbs, did inflation continue during the decade in which there was no raise in the minimum wage? That decade coincides with the Republicans control of Congress.

Today, the minimum wage is 59% of a poverty level wage.

Perhaps conservatives can interest our returning veterans in those below poverty jobs.The unemployment rate for veterans is 12+%.

Posted by: jlw at November 14, 2011 4:38 PM
Comment #331995


All speakers in Indo European languages are Aryans in the very general term. Nazis did not consider many of them members of their race.


Re Obamavilles - I am referring to the OWS camps.

I don’t care what the protestors are calling themselves. I think we might be able to make this name stick.

Aren’t you one of those who insisted on calling the Tea Party “tea baggers”?


Conservatives don’t like the Obama doldrums any more than you do. I regret that employment among veterans has reached 12% under this president. Let’s get a new leadership.

There was not very much inflation during the times when Republicans controlled Congress, i.e. 1994-2006. The economy was actually fairly good during those years.

You guys like to complain. Unfortunately, Obama is president and Republicans have not controlled Congress since 2006. So all these problems come back to you.

Posted by: C&J at November 14, 2011 5:36 PM
Comment #331998

“Today, the minimum wage is 59% of a poverty level wage.”

I wonder if many of those writing about poverty even understand how it is officially determined. I would ask a question…

Can a person, with $500,000 in assets be considered at the poverty level?

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 14, 2011 5:43 PM
Comment #332000

C&J, you picked the right word to describe your article, hyperbole. As a conservative, shouldn’t you be promoting an electrified border fence with a alligator filled mote paralleling it.

I think the demonstrators should call off their camp out in favor of civil disobedience Tuesdays on the first Tuesday of each month. It will attract more demonstrators and be more effective in the long run. As it is, authority and the conservatives are determined to find cause for discrediting the truthfulness of their message.

Perhaps conservatives need to step up to the plate and take these fair wage jobs as a second or even a third job. Who will rescue the American businessman if not the conservatives. Afterall, isn’t it obvious that conservatives want to get rid of the illegals and everyone else is to lazy and spoiled to work those jobs. They say 40% of the population is conservative, but at least half of them aren’t interested in giving up their government entitlements.

Democrats should be putting as much, actually more, effort into making sure that the poor are legally eligible to vote as Republicans are putting into preventing them from voting.

Posted by: jlw at November 14, 2011 5:57 PM
Comment #332002


What I find interesting about all this is that the immigrant workers that need to be replaced were actually skilled labor compared to those that might replace them at the same wage.

Anecdotally, 20 years ago a friend of mine was in Mexico City doing a job at a new Center for the arts. He said while he was there he witnessed a man fall. Now the fall wasn’t bad, but the fact that the man’s arm was impaled on a piece of re-bar should have forced him to go to the hospital. The man refused, saying that if he left, there would be no job for him when he got back. He sucked it up, staunched the flow of blood, wrapped up the wound, and went back to work.

That’s the kind of mentality that the “illegals” bring to a job site. They’re so afraid they’ll lose their job they will put up with virtually any type of job conditions and not complain.

Americans don’t have that kind of need.


Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 14, 2011 5:58 PM
Comment #332005

It looks like anti-immigration laws like Alabama’s effect other states too:
link text

This shows why these new laws should be ruled unconstitutional. The Constitution keeps immigration policy exclusively in the domain of the Federal government. This is a problem:

The Supreme Court held nearly 70 years ago that a state cannot set its own immigration policy separate from federal law because of how it will affect every other state in the United States of America. As the Court explained in Hines v. Davidowitz, “[e]xperience has shown that international controversies of the gravest moment, sometimes even leading to war, may arise from real or imagined wrongs to another’s subjects inflicted, or permitted, by a government.” If an American government is going to imperil our foreign relations with another nation, that decision should come from a decision maker that has actually been elected to represent the entire nation, not someone who is only accountable to the people of Alabama.

Washington’s plight demonstrates that this problem is not limited simply to foreign policy. The voters of Alabama elected an anti-immigrant government, and the people of Washington suffer for it without any ability to hold Alabama’s leaders accountable at the polls.


Posted by: Warped Reality at November 14, 2011 6:07 PM
Comment #332010


I used to do those jobs when I was young and inexperienced. I have already done my 12 hour days, piling bags in the dust and heat. And, BTW, I walked to work, up hill both ways.

Re the poor voting - there is no impediment to voting besides lethargy and stupidity. Since people possessing both those characteristics in abundance are more likely to vote Democratic, I can see why Democrats want to get this vote out. Personally, I wouldn’t do a thing to make voting either easier or harder. If you don’t want to vote, you should not vote.

Re mote with alligators - most of the southern border runs across some very dry land unsuitable to crocodylia of any kind, although we might be able to scare up some really bad tempered Gila monsters or horned toads. Have you ever seen a Gila monster? I would avoid them if I could.

IMO - there will soon be shortage of Mexican immigrants. We should get them while they are still available. Back in 1990s, I warned of the impending shortage of Polish plumbers and carpenters, and I was right.

RE OWS changing their tactics - If OWS types go on strike, does that mean that they work? It is like a welfare strike.


“tis but a scratch.

Immigrants do a better job than those Americans that would replace them. I agree.

Posted by: C&J at November 14, 2011 7:05 PM
Comment #332017

Royal Flush-
I’ve got a car I have to pay for, bills I have to pay for, food, gas, bus fare, student loans, clothes, and whatever else I end up needing. Mathematically, I shouldn’t be taking a worse-paying job. It would not be to my advantage, and I would not do it unless I had no other choice.

I thought my point was ridiculously simple. But some folks are intent on not taking me at my word, it seems.

As for going on the dole? We don’t really have one anymore, you made sure of it. We have unemployment, but folks on that have to go looking for jobs, and that’s pretty serious work in and of itself.

If anybody’s made living on the “dole” what dole does exist, it’s the folks you’re defending, who spent the last few decades making debt the “preferred” form of financing, then running that system into the ground.

Leave it to the right wing to make it seem awful that people are seeking out the jobs that are suited to their skill level and their education, jobs from which they can pay the often staggering costs of a college degree from, rather than intentionally shoot themselves in the foot in market terms.

You’ve taken an elitist point of view, a one-sided perspective that misses half of the market forces in operation, and by doing so, misses everything.

You’re too interested in justifying doing nothing to provide real solutions to the American people, and that’s why people are going to come back to the side of the Democrats this election: they may not get a complete absence of excuses from our side, but they sure as hell won’t get nothing BUT excuses.

I call members of the Tea Party “Tea Partiers” or “Tea Partisans” I don’t recall many times I called them otherwise. I prefer that if my tongue is sharp, that it be in the service of even sharper wits.

You say we’ve controlled Congress since 2006. Well, more accurately, we’ve controlled the Senate since 2006. The House is now controlled by you, so the current state of things in Washington can come back to haunt you, too. So far as I have seen Democrats in Congress have been made unpopular by this, but Republicans haven’t done themselves any favors. If anything, their numbers are lower. It would seem cold consolation to me to have my rivals brought low, only to be buried beneath them.

As for the times you say were good economically? See, once we got up to 2000, the economy stopped booming, and started stalling. A lot of what came after was financed by the refinancing of homes. Many of your pet projects in terms of changing regulations ended up being the precursors to both the real estate collapse and the Wall Street Crash that followed. You say it was good up to that point, and then suddenly you hit a brick wall or something. In reality, there were warning signs very early in the game that we had some serious flaws in the system.

Heck, Enron showed that the accounting could get funky, that derivatives could be used to distort markets, that banks were getting too cozy with those they were supposed to be objectively examining. Even early than that, LTCM illustrated the hair-raising capacity for a few bad bets on the derivatives market to cause a disproportionate effect on the rest of the economy.

Enron also showed the abusive capacity of the energy trading business, how power shortages could be faked to drive up prices, how Wall Street could bid up the costs of power generation.

So on and so forth.

You act as if things went wrong after 2006, but the reality was, most of the bad bets that were going wrong already started getting called in about that year. The housing bubble, if it wasn’t already burst, was already on its way to deflating. The Democrats got in just in time (2007) to watch the consequense unfold.

Convenient, isn’t that?

I used to be a lot more easy-going about sharing power with conservatives. I was more a Clintonite ten years ago than the Obama supporter I am now. What’s changed is that a preference for doing things a certain way, which once yielded more to necessity, now treats itself as the necessity, regardless of what’s going on.

Republicans are no longer admitting fault or changing their minds when confronted with the failure of their policy. They have been taught to maintain the political strength of their system at all costs. Unfortunately, circling the wagons on a regular basis, rather than fixing problems, has been a large part of what got the Democrats elected, and then elected to a bigger majority.

Having convinced people Democrats weren’t so good at it, Republicans could have come in and done better, and that would have been brilliant cap to their strategy. Instead, they took it as a sign that everybody’d lurched to the far right with them, and that now was the time to try and get their wishlist fulfilled.

Now they can’t say that it was merely the Democrats, not after all they’ve done, not after taking the House of Representatives. Time is running short for them to actually show people some substantive effort in getting people back to work.

Republicans are going to take care of everybody’s busines but their own, blame everybody else but themselves.

As for the poor voting, they should not be considered with any less response. I’ve faced hardship in the last few years that had nothing to do with respective virtues or anything like that. People get sick, people get hit by disasters, folks go through misfortunes like the death of breadwinners and the harrowing effects of divorce.

Elizabeth Warren, researching bankruptcies among women expected to find that the folks who got hit with bankruptcies the most were those who were profligate with their spending. Instead, she discovered the actual most common denominator was having children. People go broke doing what they have to do to raise their children.

You can smugly joke about the poor, about the OWS protestors, but there’s more to this than you’re willing to admit. It might be emotionally satisfying to dismiss people, but those may be some of the same people who will find it emotionally satisfying to vote out Republicans who didn’t do crap for them, not even a stimulus bill. That people sided with public workers unions in Ohio, rather than John Kasich should be one of your many warning signs about which way the midwest might go. You’d best not underestimate how ticked off people are at the Republicans.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 14, 2011 9:53 PM
Comment #332018

“Immigrants do a better job than those Americans that would replace them.”

Spoken by someone who apparently hasn’t spent much time working alongside immigrants. As someone who has spent time working with illegal immigrants in the construction trades, I can assure you that that statement is untrue. The truth is that there is little difference. Some are go getter’s, most are average, and some are lazy.

C&J, it was the tea party members that first referred to themselves as tea baggers. And you say that the stupid are more likely to vote Democratic. It is conservatives that relish ignorance as a virtue and decry intellectualism as a sin.

Conservatives seem to have a deep affinity for Hoovervilles.

A lot of arid land along our southern border. Hence the apparent need to build a parallel mote. We can assure the quality of the work by insisting that only illegal immigrants work on the project.

A Heritage Foundation study found that Mexicans aren’t afraid of Gila monsters or horned toads, only alligators.

Who first proposed the alligator mote? Was it a conservative known for his intelligence? Shouldn’t you consider it an Able cause?

Who cheered the mote? Who cheered the electrified fence?

Perhaps we should take Bachmann’s advice and adopt the Chinese capitalism model. What do you think?

Your conservative wanna be’s seem to be overly abundant in the brains department. So much so that each one is capable of being the leader in the polls from week to week. They more than anyone define the typical conservative GOP voter.

Is blaming Obama for the economy a sign of intelligence? I think not.

Democrat voters have their own problems. They vote for politicians who promise change knowing full well that they are not going to deliver.

If intelligence was a forte of the voters, the politicians of both parties would be unemployed and unemployable.

The Democrats thought they had a Messiah and many of the conservative voters think they have a Moses. The difference, the conservative has actually proclaimed himself a Moses and that he has the endorsement of God. I can’t understand why the other candidates haven’t capitulated. Could it be that God told them to run for president as well.

Businesses aren’t hiring veterans because they are supposedly mentally deranged and could go postal. In addition, corporations are saying they will not hire anyone that has been laid off for 6 months or more. Apparently it takes 6 months to turn a productive worker into a “no-account.”

Royal, what criteria should we use to determine poverty in the wealthiest nation on earth? Should we use Haiti as our criteria for determining poverty in this country? How about the middle class? Should we use the Haitian middle class to determine what the affluence level and size of our middle class should be?

Posted by: jlw at November 14, 2011 9:56 PM
Comment #332022


“As someone who has spent time working with illegal immigrants in the construction trades, I can assure you that that statement is untrue.”

Please don’t fall into the traps of absolutes.

There are jobs, such as those that require repetitive motion, like gutting catfish at the Harvest Select company, or jobs in the fields, where illegals have worked for decades, that they are vastly superior at what they do because they have done it for so long.

I can assure you that my experiences are different than yours. I have worked with craftsmen that do their jobs very well, whether they were stone masons, or merely mudders and tapers.

Illegals do the jobs they do because they don’t have the choices we do. They are here working these crap jobs for minimum wage because even though it’s a crap job, it’s still better that what they have at home.
They do it, they don’t bitch, and they still send some of what they earn home.

It’s not that Americans aren’t capable of doing these jobs, it’s just that we haven’t had to do them for so many years we don’t know how anymore.


Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 15, 2011 12:15 AM
Comment #332024

Rocky, My experience was as an iron worker working with Mexican kids that had NO experience at all. And, they were replacing workers that could and were willing to do that work simply because they could be paid a whole lot less. Most of them were trainable, some weren’t. The only reason I outlasted most of my American counterparts was because I treated the illegals as humans, as equals, but more importantly, I was rather good at and willing to train them.

There are two, almost identical 10 story buildings at the Scotts Lawn fertilizer plant in Marysville, Ohio. One was built by skilled American workers in 2000 and the other was built in 2001 using primarily unskilled illegal immigrants. The one built by the skilled workers is superior in quality in every respect, Plumb columns, smooth and flat concrete floors, etc.

You want another example, Cincinnati, Ohio, skilled illegal immigrant roofers laying three tab shingles horizontally up a roof. If you know anything about roofing you will get the joke. We got a big laugh out of that one.

I have no doubts that many illegal immigrants are very good workers at some jobs, but IMO, you are being far more absolute than I. Not all immigrants are highly skilled, I think that is why they are referred to as an unskilled labor force, and they aren’t just doing jobs that Americans won’t do.

About 5% of them are highly skilled at drug smuggling, money laundering, murder, and other criminal activities.

No absolutes, only a recognition that illegal immigration has produced both good and bad results, for both the U.S. and Mexico.

Posted by: jlw at November 15, 2011 2:20 AM
Comment #332026


Your point was indeed ridiculously simple.

Everybody takes the the best job they can get in terms of pay, hours, type of work etc. It would be truly stupid to take a job that you liked less that paid less. Simple.

The point that I think others are making and that I am making is that most sorts of work should be preferable to unemployment. Some jobs suck. We try to avoid them and/or to work our ways out of them. This is also just simple.

We are simple people.

Nobody suggested that anybody should take a worse job if they can get a better one. What we suggested is that you take the best job you can get. But that some people do not have the skills or the good luck to command a high salary or great conditions.

As a young man, I did all sorts of dirty, low-paying jobs. I used to pile cement bags. We had twelve-hour days. The bags weighed 94lbs each. The dust coated our bodies and I suppose our lungs. When I tell the story, people think I am making it up. I didn’t do it because it was fun; I did it to pay for college. MOST people could not do that job. It was physically too difficult for probably 80% of men and 99% of women, so I was lucky to be big, strong and dumb enough to do it. But it worked.

I know a liberal would not respect the work, but just tell me how luck I was to be able to do it and tell me that I should share my money with those unable or unwilling to wake up at 4am and work until it got dark. I see it differently.

Re the economy going bad - it is indeed convenient that things started to go better in 1994 when Republicans took control of Congress and started to go back in 2006 when Democrats took over again.

Unemployment at the end of 1994 was 5.4%; at the end of 2006 it was 4.5%. Either of those figures would be really good compared to anything we have had during the Obama doldrums. When Republicans took back the House unemployment was 9.4%; it is now 8.9%.

These are just numbers. You can explain why they don’t matter, but they do.


I don’t know who started the term “tea bagger” but it has become pejorative and the people who use it are willfully making the mistake. It is their business. I am merely pointing out the Stephen that we don’t have to refer to people only by the terms they choose for themselves.

Re Obamavilles - presumably if you guys think that the OWS are such good guys, you should be proud to have their encampments called Obamavilles. If you find it insulting to compare OWS with Obama, maybe you are not as proud of them as you say.

Re the Chinese - I don’t envy the Chinese. China is a shit hole for most of the people who live there and after 100 years of progress it still will not be as pleasant for the average person as the U.S.

A freer (not a free) market has taken China from the absolute poverty and horror it suffered under actual communism. This is good. The communist authorities will need to concede more authority. I am not sure they will be able to do that.

America is a great place to live. In fact, what I often find most annoying is the cry-baby attitude of many of our citizens, who is the face of great opportunities and wealth only complain about their hard lives.

Re blaming Obama - if the economy was booming, you guys would be crediting Obama. Presidents get credit or blame.

Reagan joked that they called it Reaganomics, until things started to work and then they claimed it was just chance.

Obama was not responsible for the downturn and he is not primarily responsible for the continued weakness, but his policies did indeed pull economic activity from the future into what was then the present, now the past.

The Obama doldrums are in part the result of his policies.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 4:45 AM
Comment #332029


“…using primarily unskilled illegal immigrants.”

Thus the caveat. I did not say that all illegals were highly skilled. My comments were about those that had been doing their jobs for years.

I believe my comment was;

“There are jobs, such as those that require repetitive motion, like gutting catfish at the Harvest Select company, or jobs in the fields, where illegals have worked for decades, that they are vastly superior at what they do because they have done it for so long.”

Frankly would you, at your age, want to gut fish for 10 hours a day, standing in a cold, wet, smelly environment for minimum wage?
How about working in the broiling sun, bent over all day picking tomatoes?

Yes, I have worked around skilled illegals. I have also worked around illegals that were merely laborers.

My point about absolutism is that, at least around here, it seems a conservative trait. Everything to them is black or white, and IMHO that is a logic trap.


BTW, I forgot to mention that Perry county, where Uniontown is located, has one of the lowest average hourly wages in a state where the overall average wage is pretty low already.


Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 15, 2011 8:20 AM
Comment #332046

You say, “It would be truly stupid to take a job you liked less that paid less.” and acknowledge that this is a market reality. Why not, then, consistently apply that logic and realize that if you’ve got the education and the expenses of somebody who was working X job before you were laid off, you’re probably not going to go looking for a job just for the sake of getting a job, especially if that job won’t support you or your family sufficiently. You might eventually be willing to work that way, but you’ll probably first have to give up on all kinds of things in order to make ends meet if you choose that path.

You shouldn’t overlook something else: if a whole bunch of people make that decision all at once, what’s going to end up happening is that the economy’s going to take a hit. Better to try and get people back to about what they were earning before, and thereby restore their fortunes, than constrain those fortunes and end up constraining the economy that depends on the income, disposable or otherwise, of those workers.

Liberals respect work. Why do you think we don’t? Is it years of propaganda about welfare? We call it a social safety net for a reason. You’re supposed to get back up out of it and start working again. If you look at the sum totality of our policies, we’re very much in favor of making even basic work a sustainable source of income for those who do it, and making it to where they don’t have to depend on the government for help. That is, you could say, part of the point of a living wage, of a relatively high minimum wage. You can choose to pay a person in good enough wages, or you can end up paying either throught he economic consequences of their poverty, or the costs of government assistance.

As for the economy?

I take my point of view from a lot of informative articles I read, which trace the development of events. None of them even remotely begin in 2006. The reason the derivatives were toxic assets was that many on Wall Street had made the bad bet that housing prices would keep on rising.

The market peaked before the Democrats had time to settle in their seats. Now that doesn’t happen all at once. It happened over a period of years. Now it might not have shown in the unemployment rate, just yet, but the recession began in December 2007, less than a year into the Democrat’s takeover.

Given that Republicans started their record-breaking obstruction at this point in the senate, and Bush was President, given that the housing market, whose assets were at the center of the collapse, had already started it’s downward slide before they got into office, I don’t see how just waving around the unemployment number (and the U3 number at that) proves there weren’t economic problems already in place before that.

You blame Obama, too. But you seem to forget that from the time the recession started to the time Obama took office, about four million jobs were loss. The economy took an extraordinary 8.9% hit going into that last quarter of the Bush Administration.

Recessions and job losses like this don’t start and stop on dimes. Obama could not have prevented most of those job losses, especially not with the Republican’s preferred methods.

You’re butchering the actual history of events to fit into that narrow two year time frame between when we took over Congress and when the big recession accelerated and got worse. You’re neglecting all the years it took for the non-bank lenders, primary source of many of the bad loans to accumulate that back-log of terrible loans. You’re neglecting the changes in the market that took place before 2006 as interest rate changes spurred upward spikes in Adjustable rate mortgages that people had been gulled into. You’re failing to register the financial effects of all those re-financing deals that the mortgage companies made, how that sunk many people who weren’t that bad off, and how the windfalls from those refinanced mortgages hid the problems in the economy.

I didn’t just casually follow events, like some people, I followed the news pretty closely. The problems pre-existed the unemployment problem that would one day develop from them. An economy that looks healthy on the outside, just like a person who does, can be sick and unhealthy inside, before the symptoms become obvious.

We need to quit viewing economics in narrow, nearsighted political terms. You can say, and perhapse fool people into believing that present economic conditions come instantly from current leaders, but the reality is more complicated than that, and being oblivious to that truth won’t help us deal with it.

As for “Obamavilles

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2011 5:20 PM
Comment #332048


Your first paragraph is faulty (maybe liberal) logic. I say you should take the best job you can get. That is clear. That does not mean that when you get a certain level of education that other jobs are below you.

As I wrote, with my history MA I took all kinds of crappy jobs. They did not use my education, but they were the best I could get at the time. I worked to get better ones.

If I lost my well-paying job today, of course I would look for one that paid as much and/or was fun. Failing that, I would take the job I could get.

What used to annoy me when I was looking for jobs and what annoys me today is to hear people say they are “overqualified” for some jobs. With all my education, if I am looking for a job as a waiter, for example, I an UNDER QUALIFIED, since I don’t have experience.

re the economy - I have argued many times that politicians do not control the economy in the short term. I recall arguing this with you when you blamed Bush for the downturns in 2001.

But “you people” believe that politics matter a lot more than I do. Obama made big promises that I knew he couldn’t keep, but that was a big part of his appeal.

AND you still want to blame Bush for the economy. So IF Bush can be blamed, so can Obama. If Obama cannot be blamed, neither can Bush. If Democratic control of Congress during the downturn cannot be important, then neither can Republicans be blamed for what happened on their watch.

So if you have come to believe that political policies work in long term, but not short term, that government can create conditions that help create jobs, but cannot directly create jobs and that changes of presidents has marginal effect on employment trends, you have become a conservative.

If you do not believe those things, then we can blame Obama and the Democrats for what happened on their watches.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 5:37 PM
Comment #332050

Sorry. As for Obamavilles, I explained earlier. The intention on yourside isn’t flattery, and claiming that we should accept the name because we like Obama is just a runaround. After all, you’re trying to make it stick, and its obvious you’re trying to make it all negative.

As for Americans being crybabies? Americans aren’t crybabies, but we’re also not going to willingly live in squalor so that a few of us can make more money. You reward the few who manage to get into positions of wealth and power, and decide anybody else isn’t doing much that needs reward, so everybody else can just get used to being paid less, living in greater poverty, etc., because the market supposedly demands it.

My point, as it’s been for the longest time, is that the market is a door that swings both ways, and there are limits to how far down you can push wages before market forces start pushing them back up, or penalizing the economy for them being short of what’s necessary.

The doldrums are not a result of Obama’s policies, but of the conservative movement’s. You let them get too cute with the financial sector, believing that freedom would improve the economy. Instead, it brought it within a pigeon’s breath of a depression, after which your party has inhibited efforts to to pull us any further out of it.

Most of the eight million jobs lost were lost before Obama can do a thing about it, and since then you’ve tried, and often succeeded in blocking new efforts at stimulating the economy, despite years of Bush doing such stimulation in your supposedly good economy.

What, you don’t think that I remember all those stimulus bills your side pushed, the tax refunds? Your people did this multiple times. But now that we’re doing fiscal stimulus, all of a sudden it’s a bad, evil, counterproductive thing.

The future from which Obama’s pulled the funding for current stimulative efforts is not our immediate future. Those bills don’t come due so soon, and the costs for servicing that debt, at this point, are practically negative. In essence, people are paying to park money safely in Treasuries.

But no, we have to start working on the deficit, even before we fix the economic conditions that have cut revenues, and which make any other fiscal austerity a delicate operation at best.

Yeah, this is the brand of consistency we get from those who base what they like and don’t like on the converse of positions that Obama takes. If Obama likes war, you say peace. If he likes peace, you say war. If Romney pushes a universal healthcare program from a mandate, it’s conservative, if Obama co-opts it, it’s socialism.

When Republicans and George Bush signed into law the program that would eventually provide a loan guarantee to Solyndra, it was your program, and you praised it. When Solyndra turned out to be a dud, unlike more than 97% of the other loans, it became a failed Obama program.

I get what you’re saying when you say the doldrums are Obama’s to blame. I get what you, or the people feeding you your argument are saying: None of this is our fault, punish the Democrats!

And oh, by the way, let’s not correct any of the problems themselves.

And you wonder why I don’t find your policies attractive. It’s more a twisting of rhetoric than actual problem solving. Well, twisted words won’t make for straight policy successes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2011 5:57 PM
Comment #332051

Faulty, perhaps liberal logic? Good God, mister, are you seriously using that crap on me?

A person’s economic needs don’t change when they lose a job. It might eventually put pressure on them to seek a worse-paying job, just for the wage, but encouraging that is hardly the way to encourage economic growth.

It’s a waste of all the money that person spent to educate themselves. They should be earning what their professional degree allows them to earn.

I mean, have you thought for a second that if a whole bunch of young people with good degrees can’t get jobs in their fields, and have to adjust their financial expectations downwards, then that might lead to a lot of student loan defaults?

Yeah, that will make things better. You’re only seeing things from a supply side. You’re making the mistake that made this whole crisis possible, the assumption that as long as the big guys were making money, that people would get employed and economic growth would be assured.

Well, it doesn’t have to work that way. Even a cursory look at American history tells you that, and I’ve taken more than a cursory look myself.

The main policies that got us in this pickle were supported by both parties, but the ideas were promoted and dissent was primarly punished by your side. As Republicans went along to get along during the times of greatest Democratic Party power, Democrats did the same. Sharing in an error, though, does not equate to leading in an error, and that’s what I’m concerned with, because Americans need an alternative to your faulty policies. If it takes forgiving a Democratic Party which went with some of your policies, so be it.

Reaganomics didn’t work. If it had, 1981 would have been followed by a boom, not a recession of historic proportions. If it had, Bush’s job creation rates would have been sky highs, not record lows.

I’m not confused enough to buy your trash-talk. I know my way around American history.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 15, 2011 6:10 PM
Comment #332053


“When Republicans and George Bush signed into law the program that would eventually provide a loan guarantee to Solyndra, it was your program, and you praised it. When Solyndra turned out to be a dud, unlike more than 97% of the other loans, it became a failed Obama program.”

I don’t like the idea of the program, but the Obama folks are the ones who did the Solyndra. NOT only did they do it, they doubled downs and praised it over and over.

“It’s a waste of all the money that person spent to educate themselves. They should be earning what their professional degree allows them to earn.”

What “should” a person with a degree earn? There is no salary that comes automatically with a degree.

If you have a degree in computer engineering, you will probably earn good money. If you have a degree in gender studies, you are probably worth about as much as a HS graduate. All degrees are not created equal.

I have both an MBA and an MA in history. They took the same amount of time and cost the same amount to get. I love my MA in history, but it is much more like a luxury than an investment.

I have thought about the loan defaults. This is another example of extending too much credit. I also think that universities have become too expensive. In fact, if OWS was protesting more against the high costs of college and proposing solutions, I would be more in favor.

Colleges should probably return to basics with a more basic price tag. That is a different story, however.

Posted by: C&J at November 15, 2011 6:44 PM
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