Old Dogs

Younger people think us baby-boomers had it made but this was not really true. Older baby-boomers, who became adults in the 1960s, enjoyed a great economy. Younger ones, who became adults in the 1970s, faced high unemployment and stagflation, economic times more challenging than we face today, at least for youth. One reason we are well educated is that we stayed in school because we couldn’t find good steady work.

I noticed an interesting story in the WSJ talking about how older workers are being affected more acutely then even younger workers by the Obama doldrums.

Take a look at this chart and count backwards. Younger baby-boomers were young during the rotten times of the 1970s. and are now the old of the rotten times today.

In other words, the same guys who had the misfortune of coming into the labor market when Carter was in charge have the misfortune of being pushed out of it when Obama is running the show.

Adding to our feeling of Carter déjà vu is the news this month that the number of new job opening fell by the most in almost four years. But there is hope. Carter was followed by Reagan and a general economic expansion that lasted a quarter century. Good times are always followed by hard times, time of readjustment. We are passing through such a time. Politicians' policies cannot prevent such things, but can make them pass faster or slower.

Let's hope and work for a change in policy that will help us get out of the hole faster or at least stop digging deeper.

But let's share a deeper fear. As a 57-year old, I am afraid that my skills are becoming obsolete. Experience means much less in a world that is rapidly changing and in some cases may actually become a liability. Thirty years of experience in one line of work may be of no value looking for a job in another. There is also the assumption that young people know the tricks of technology that old dogs cannot learn.

I think this is why older workers fear losing their jobs so much. Once we fall out, our chances of getting back in are limited. Those with the means may simply choose early retirement; others will just be poor and this period of unemployment may well affect their life prospects for the next thirty years or until they shuffle off this mortal coil, poorer, sadder but perhaps not wiser.

Random chance plays a big role in our lives. Those who are successful are less often the smartest or the quickest than those who keep trying. As you get older, you have fewer roles of the dice left and often fewer places to throw them. I don't have a solution to this problem, which more or less reflects the human condition. But I do point it out to those who might think that unemployment among older people is a situation that doesn't matter so much since they can retire.

Posted by Christine & John at June 23, 2012 3:09 PM
Comments
Comment #347157

Agree, with your post, C&J, mostly ‘J’. In the previous world things changed/advanced so slowly that one generation could remain ‘dominant’ in the work force until retirement.

Now, technology changes rapidly, often leaving the older worker hung out to dry pre-retirement age. Leads to an uneasy work environment where the younger workers try to push the elder workers into moving, early retirement, etc, just ‘get out of the way’.

Elder workers may have little to rely on, with mostly technical skills and few to none supervisory skills.

Happening even as we hunt and peck re cloud computing versus whatever we had before. Seems a number of data centers, first coat of paint hardly dry, are closed or going to be closed. Only six months ago a new data center was planned for Stanley, Virginia. Either the recession or cloud computing flushed that project.

The less technical can only ride the coat tails of the highly technical as long as the ride lasts.

An interesting thing going on in Japan. I believe they pretty much invented/pushed digital facsimile and have continued to use fax as their main communications system while the rest of the world has gone to super fast digital modems. One reason, IMO, that Japan has not recovered quicker from their decade old recession.

Anyhoo, it is a conundrum of some magnitude in that technology is being born/died faster and faster while people are living longer, retiring way later. Juxtaposed to their economic advantage.

Just adds to other problems associated with globalism. IMO, current and coming generations are in for some hard times like this country hasn’t experienced since fall of the ‘gilded age’ and ‘hey, brother can you spare a dime’. 2% GDP year over year for 3 to 5 decades, IMO. What? The Corpocracy is working to lower the debt some $400M/yr.

In today’s news that the US wants to open up Camn Rahn Bay, Subic Bay, Clark Air Base, and others to ensure the peace initiative that we were supposed to get from globalism. If Russia ‘sticks to their guns’ over Syria we could be on a cold war footing pdq, IMO.

Otherwise, we have the Corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 23, 2012 8:28 PM
Comment #347158

Boy, old guys and their myths. We didn’t have it as tough as these youngsters have it today despite your theories. You see back then jobs did come back when the economy recovered. The past decade and a half we have had jobless recoveries during normal business cycle recoveries. The doldrums, from the economic collapse, you refer to are actually the new reality thanks to conservative policy of the past 30 years. Off shoring and technology have taken it’s toll. Not to mention the loans that fueled the latest speculative bubble. To change horses during the middle of this economic struggle will do no good. Unless you think the solution to being hungover the next morning is drinking more alcohol.


Posted by: j2t2 at June 23, 2012 8:31 PM
Comment #347159

j2t2

In the ten years from 1973-82, unemployment remains stubbornly high among the youth. In our own case, unemployment in the ten years 2003-12 has usually been fairly low, often below 5%. It is true that since Barack Obama has been president unemployment has not dropped below 7.6%, but this too can change.

Back in 1982 there was lots of talk about the end of prosperity and we were told that our lives would be worse than those of our parents. In fact, we were told in the early 1970s that we would run out of resources by sometime in the 1980s. Actually, the 1970s were a time very similar to what we are experiencing today, except in addition to the slow economic growth and high unemployment, we had inflation too.

The bad times of the 1970s ended. You are correct that we had good times after that. But what you fail to acknowlege is that the good times were exactly those times when you decry the conservative policies.

You face a logical conundrum. IF you say we had better times than the youth of today, you must also acknowledge those past thirty years were good.

Posted by: C&J at June 23, 2012 9:08 PM
Comment #347160

C&J, the problems of the 70’s were due to the oil price shocks of ‘73 and ‘79, the end of the boom from WWII as well as Nixon putting us onto globalization or as you call it “free market capitalism”, Which is the bedrock of conservative ideology. You attempt to blame Carter for these problems despite the fact that he handled the problems quite well just as Obama has done. Your 9 women theory just isn’t real world C&J it is nonsense. Getting out of economic upheaval takes time.

The 80’s were the result of Reagan using unemployed Americans as the tool to stop inflation and the oil prices returning to a more normal level. The point is jobs were still part of a recovery unlike the past decade. Conservative policy fueled the ‘00’s C&J. As Voodoo economics took hold of the country we saw jobs leaving which is the legacy of conservative ideology and the ‘80’s. You like to blame Obama for all of this but the fact is conservatives idolization of “job creators” despite the lack of success they have had creating jobs is a big share of the problem.


We must also remember the millions of jobs lost just prior to Obama taking office and be thankful the hemorrhaging of jobs was stopped as he took office. Had conservatives held the office of president we would be in a depression.

http://olesiafx.com/Kathy-Lien-Day-Trading-The-Currency-Market/End-Of-Bretton-Woods-Free-Market-Capitalism-Is-Born-1971.html

Posted by: j2t2 at June 23, 2012 11:02 PM
Comment #347162

j2t2

You give too much credit/blame to particular policies. You really believe that our leaders have something approaching unrestricted choice and that they control the economy.

I understand that there is a strong interplay between actions and reactions and that the main job of good leadership is to scan the environment for opportunities,risks and changes. This is one reason I do not believe in the centralization of planning. No leader or bureaucracy can have sufficient information or wisdom to react to the constantly changing situations.

You are correct about the higher prices of energy being a prime effect. The post war prosperity was dependent on low priced energy.

RE Bretton Woods - that collapsed because the relationships among the world’s nations changed. It was not a choice by American political leadership.

In fact, the unique configuration of the post-war world is what made possible the generally good conditions from 1950-1970. It was not all America. Germany, Japan and most of the world were rebuilding, demanding American goods, services and expertise. This gave our leadership the illusion of omnipotence. Much of your leftist belief in the efficacy of government action is based on this illusion.

I am pragmatic. I do not say that is NOT an ideology. It definitely is. Nobody is ideology free and anybody who tells you that he doesn’t base his judgements on ideology is fooling himself but should not fool us. IMO a pragmatic approach works better in the real world because it allows flexibility and allows action w/o requiring complete knowledge or understanding of the situation. This is important because complete information & understanding are never options. My type of pragmatic thinking also delegates judgement and authority to those who are closest to the situations, have the most information and a lot at stake.

When you attack conservative ideology with liberal ideology, I just think that you are postulating too much choice for political leaders.

As you know, I do forestry. I have a great deal of choice in what I plant and how I take care of it. BUT all my choices are very much constrained by realities of the environment. If I “choose” the right things, they thrive. But they thrive much less because I make them work but rather because they take care of themselves.

The market is like the natural tormentor. Here, I am talking about the market broadly. It is not only or even principally re profit but rather the exchange of information, goods, ideas etc. This is influenced by all the people involved and by changing conditions, but it is controlled by nobody.

Politicians have options, but they can do some things much easier and with much better results than they can do others. IMO, liberal politicians tend to want to be more active and run systems that do not work with the strengths of the systems they are fooling with. In fact, they often purposely sacrifice some of the greatest strengths of the system, which include incentives and the quick transfer of information.

This happens when government tries to set prices or requires actions which people w/o government intervention would be disinclined to do. It happens when political leaders arrogate to themselves decisions that should be left to people closer to the problem, who often have greater information and incentive to make it work.

Most of the time conservatives and liberals have similar goals. We all want a prosperous nation, with people content in their lives and work, a sustainable environment, tranquility at home and security abroad. We disagree on how to achieve these things AND the way to achieve these things is both distributed and constantly changing. Centralization and one size fits all are almost uniquely unsuited to success, however.

Posted by: C&J at June 24, 2012 8:27 AM
Comment #347165
You give too much credit/blame to particular policies.

Thanks for the chuckle oh he who tells us it is the “Obama doldrums” we are living with and voting for Romney will change all of this.

But lets face it the inflation of the ‘70’s you try to smear Carter with is due in fact to Nixon and “free market capitalism” or globalisation if you prefer, OPEC and oil prices and the end of the WWII boom. The policy decision to get us off the gold standard created inflation, regardless of whether it was a sound decision or not, is deserving of the credit or blame for the fall out from this policy. Yet as a conservative you would have us believe it was Carter that was the cause of inflation in the 70’s.


This is one reason I do not believe in the centralization of planning. No leader or bureaucracy can have sufficient information or wisdom to react to the constantly changing situations.

Yet conservatism leads to just such central planning you abhor. We see it more and more as the ideology pervades the country. When the government is bought and paid for by the business elite, a core conservative ideology, and the efficiency resulting from this leadership is felt in the subsequent income inequality we have today why would you think it is not central planning?


Much of your leftist belief in the efficacy of government action is based on this illusion.Not so C&J.

The disagreement here is a matter of degrees between us “leftist” and you “far right wing nuts”. Because the wing nuts are unable to discern degrees, as it is all black or white and not grey to them, we seem unable to get into degrees of actual difference.

My political beliefs come more from the center and are based upon results. You can try to hide from results but it is hard to believe when you try to explain them away with rhetoric. The Reagan years started the trickle on economics, again a core conservative ideology, the deregulation that led to income inequality and off shoring, nationalism and well corporate fascism that is conservatism today. SO yes policy does have an impact.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 24, 2012 2:30 PM
Comment #347166

j2t2

Re Obama doldrums - it is easier for politicians to mess things up than to make them better. Most of what is happening in not Obama’s fault, although his policies are slowing recovery. I pick on Obama because he claimed he would do great things. The fact that he either lied or didn’t understand the economy is reason to criticize him.

Re inflation of the 1970s - I have never heard any serious person blame Nixon free market capitalism for inflation. Did you make that up yourself? Inflation was caused by expanding the money supply to support both the great society and the Vietnam war, oil prices etc. Going off the gold standard was a symptom of this, certainly not the cause.

Carter didn’t cause the inflation. But, as I said above, you guys think presidents do such things, so I am just using your currency.

Re centralization - business elite is not monolithic. The only way that such guys can run the show is if they run the government AND the power of the government is expanded. The key to joy is to NOT create the powerful weapons of government coercion, which can be used by politicians, whether pushed by big business or not. This means limited government.

Re nuances - I am constantly telling my more leftist friends about nuances and shades of gray. In fact, I had to do that to you here.

Results of Obama economic management are not good. The only way they can be made acceptable is if we accept Obama’s excuses and blame casting. I do not really think that we should judge strictly by these results, but if you do Obama is even in more trouble.

The results in 1982-2007 were excellent compared with the time before and in fact with any similar period in the history of the world. The fact that after a quarter of a century of good results things finally hit a big obstacle doesn’t change that.

We need to adapt to the new realities. Conditions have changed since the 1980s. However reaching even farther back to the failed policies of the 1970s is not the answer.

Posted by: C&J at June 24, 2012 3:00 PM
Comment #347169
Re Obama doldrums - it is easier for politicians to mess things up than to make them better. Most of what is happening in not Obama’s fault, although his policies are slowing recovery. I pick on Obama because he claimed he would do great things. The fact that he either lied or didn’t understand the economy is reason to criticize him.

Now more so than ever before, unless of course you are the business elite politicians are sent to do the bidding of …well the highest bidder, which perverts the system of democracy we have. Hence the comments re corporate fascism and conservatism.

Obama did as a politician do great things for many of us when he stopped the bleeding of jobs shortly after taking office. What kind of nuance is this either or choice of he lied or he didn’t understand? What about the grey area of politics? Obama can do so much and he did what was within his power to do. He compromised on the stimulus and we got a version that worked kinda but then that is politics.
As far as his policies slowing recovery, that is just hogwash C&J. One has to swallow the ideology that tax cuts to “job creators” works despite all evidence to the contrary. One has to swallow that by cutting thousands or millions of government jobs, getting rid of medicare and cutting SS out we will gain jobs. But we all know that is nonsense driven by conservative ideology.

Re inflation of the 1970s - I have never heard any serious person blame Nixon free market capitalism for inflation. Did you make that up yourself?

C&J I thought conservative doctrine held that fiat currency was the reason the dollar was worth so much less today. Inflation wasn’t the problem on the gold standard as it was after we went off the gold standard, in fact the price of gold soared in ‘71 as we decoupled to discourage American gold leaving the country. So yes I consider what Nixon did to have added to the inflation of the ‘70’s and probably did make it up myself.


Re nuances - I am constantly telling my more leftist friends about nuances and shades of gray. In fact, I had to do that to you here.

Preaching to the choir doesn’t make you conservatives preachers C&J. The inability of conservatives to see the difference between Obama and a socialist or for that matter members of the progressive caucus and socialist is proof positive of the inability of learned conservatives to seem shades of grey when it comes to those that differ politically with them. This is a dangerous trait and a reason why extremism has overtaken the repub party.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 24, 2012 7:23 PM
Comment #347170

j2t2

If you look at the chart of job losses, the losses stopped and started back up the month President Obama was inaugurated. His policies could not have caused this, since his policies had not been put into place.

Recessions end. This one was ending. TARP was necessary, some of what Obama did to help the auto industry was helpful. Lots of other things were not. The stimulus didn’t much stimulate.

Re Fiat currency - indeed if you tie your currency to something that government cannot make more of, you get no inflation. But you also cannot increase the money supply or do many of the things necessary to run a modern economy. I am not a proponent of the gold standard, but rather a proponent of sound money.
\
The U.S. went off the gold standard in 1933 by executive order of FDR. Americans were not allowed to own gold or trade their dollars for gold. You probably remember when it became legal for Americans to own gold. I don’t recall the exact year, sometime in the late 1970s.

The Bretton Woods agreement tied the U.S. dollar to gold in terms of other currencies. It became untenable in the late 1960s. The French under Charles DeGaulle actually attack the U.S. currency by demanding gold. When Nixon stopped this, the dollar inflation was already underway.

Re nuances - You all said that Bush went to war to make money and called him a fascist. Some of your colleagues even said that he was planning a coup and would not give up power in 2008. I had to tell you guys dozens of times that he was not going to invade Iran. BTW - he didn’t. There is no shortage of weirdos on the left.

Posted by: C&J at June 24, 2012 7:40 PM
Comment #347171

LOL, I have got to share this one.

“obama, get your hand out of my pocket…I can stimulate myself.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 24, 2012 7:50 PM
Comment #347175

C&J That is the difference some on the left did say those things but NOT THE WHOLE DAMN PARTY!!!

Posted by: Jeff at June 24, 2012 9:37 PM
Comment #347176
If you look at the chart of job losses, the losses stopped and started back up the month President Obama was inaugurated. His policies could not have caused this, since his policies had not been put into place.

Not so C&J the bleeding continued until the stimulus was signed into law. The stimulus took effect in early April of ‘09 and we saw job loss decrease soon after and continue downward through out the stimulus. When the country loses 2.6 million jobs in one year we can see it is foolishness to compare this to a policy forced job loss as we seen in the Reagan years when a simple fix cured the problem.

We must also remember to thank the conservatives for the government jobs that were loss after the stimulus money ran out. The same government jobs that propped up the GWB administrations job record were suddenly the cause of the slow economic recovery.


Recessions end. This one was ending. TARP was necessary, some of what Obama did to help the auto industry was helpful. Lots of other things were not. The stimulus didn’t much stimulate.

Yes they do, and if the past several are any indication so do the jobs that were lost during the recession. Which is much different from the days of Reagan. This is due to the off shoring of jobs and technology, C&J, since the days of Reagan. The stimulus kept many of the jobs unwanted by conservatives alive which helped to fed the growth at the time. But let’s remember the stimulus was tax cuts as well as projects to spur the economy and it was targeted to stimulate a bit until the economy came back. But as we know when we are still paying off the debt incurred during the speculative bubble that was the ‘00’s we can’t spend if we can’t borrow so the consumer fueled economy can’t get going. You can blame the president and try to convince us that if we cut taxes on the “job creators” along with cutting government small enough to drown it in a bath tub the economy will come roaring back, but if the stimulus was almost 40% tax cuts and the jobs weren’t created will even conservatives believe it? Of course they will but then that is why conservative ideology is so bad for the country today. They will believe anything.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 24, 2012 9:44 PM
Comment #347201

Jeff

The left was as nasty (or more) in its attacks on Bush as the right is on Obama. Look back at the archives of this blog and see the slanders. We heard that Bush started a war to make money, that he was going to invade Iran, that he was a chimp, an idiot & and crook.

I think it is bad manners to attack a president in that way, but clearly the left is as bad as, or worse than the right.

I sometimes watch Bill O’Reily. He always makes anybody talking Obama use the word PRESIDENT and explains that they need to respect the office. I don’t recall Keith Olberman ever doing that.

j2t2

The chart looks fairly symmetrical, like a bell curve. http://www.watchblog.com/republicans/archives/007946.html. It looks like most recoveries. The difference is that it petered out and actually went back down in 2010 (i.e. in the summer of recovery). If the stimulus worked, it should have kept going at the time when the spending was still high. And if economic growth cannot continue without continued and growing government spending, it is not a sustainable recovery.

The bottom line is that whatever President Obama did, it did not solve the problem and may have prolonged the pain.

Re Reagan - I know that these days liberals say Reagan had an easy time and that he did simple things. At the time, liberals hated Reagan and attacked him much worse than anybody attacks Obama today.

As Reagan used to say, they called it Reaganonmics until it worked and then they stopped talking about it. If the same had happened with Obamanonmics” we would not be having this conversation.

Re recessions - the economy is mostly self-regulating. Trends that cannot continue, don’t. You mention housing. Prices rose way too high. Then the dropped. They have now dropped just about enough and we can expect a housing recovery. Obama policies did not help this. In fact, his ham-handed attempts to prop up prices prolonged the pain.

The problem for any leader is that no government has been able to repeal the law of supply and demand.

Posted by: C&J at June 25, 2012 6:16 AM
Comment #347202

j2t2

BTW - these “tax cuts” were interesting. I pay big taxes. We got no rebates. Some people I know who didn’t pay any taxes at all got rebates. How is that a tax cut? You cannot cut what you did not pay.

Posted by: C&J at June 25, 2012 6:18 AM
Comment #347204
It looks like most recoveries. The difference is that it petered out and actually went back down in 2010 (i.e. in the summer of recovery). If the stimulus worked, it should have kept going at the time when the spending was still high.

Wasn’t that about the time the loss of government jobs, the jobs conservatives are so proud of getting rid of, started mounting as funding from the stimulus ran out C&J? Anyway we have to be careful where we get our information as Faux likes to spew out misinformation.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/201006280019

The bottom line is that whatever President Obama did, it did not solve the problem and may have prolonged the pain.

It was time for the “job creators” to step up C&J, yet as we can see they didn’t. In fact the recovery was sabotaged by conservatives as their assault on America continued with the loss of government jobs. 2010 was the year of conservative victories and we were hearing about all the jobs they were going to create as they rode into office. In fact they were using the same line as Romney is now using yet poof… nothing happened despite all their rhetoric. Oh wait they caused our credit rating to go downhill.

The stimulus provided for business credits and tax cuts so if you were in business at that point you benefited yet did not hire, right? Because demand was and still is down as income inequality rears it’s head and debt from the speculative bubble is being paid.

Re Reagan - I know that these days liberals say Reagan had an easy time and that he did simple things. At the time, liberals hated Reagan and attacked him much worse than anybody attacks Obama today.

Still trying to spread the conservative myths regarding Reagan are we C&J. The fact is Congress worked with Reagan much better than Congress works with Obama. The hatred shown by congressional leaders today for Obama and the Joe Wilsons of Congress is much more caustic than anything Reagan had to deal with.

The problem for any leader is that no government has been able to repeal the law of supply and demand.

To make matters worse when government tries to stimulate demand by paying UI and state and local government workers they are attacked by conservatives who demand the “job creators” should get the money while the unemployed and government workers go hungry. We need to face the fact that jobs lost to technology and off shoring aren’t coming back. If we want demand to catch up with supply we cannot continue to believe the conservatives and their rhetoric.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 25, 2012 8:14 AM
Comment #347205

Agree j2t2, in that jobs won’t be coming back. In a globalised economy corporations will always chase the cheapest labor in the world.

Now is the new norm. GDP’s of 2% and a third of the work force unemployed. Young college grads should consider looking overseas for work.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at June 25, 2012 11:15 AM
Comment #347209

No C&J Party leaders where not disrespecting President Bush in the same vile manner that republicans have done this President .

Posted by: Jeff at June 25, 2012 5:24 PM
Comment #347210

Jeff

Harry Reid, Democratic leader in the Senate, called Bush a liar and a loser on several different occasions.

Listen to this disgraceful speech by Pete Stark on the floor of Congress - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DsGaNR9dVPM

Here is Nancy Pelosi calling Bush a complete failure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC1_-Et_yv0

Now what is it that you want to say that Boehner or McConnell called President Obama?

Posted by: C&J at June 25, 2012 6:03 PM
Comment #347211

Pete Stark told the congress that GWB lied about WMD’s in Iraq. Which of course is factual.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPJCPcYCupY&feature=related

Joe Wilson of course falsely accused Obama of lying during the SOTU address.

“Several fact-checking organizations wrote that Wilson’s views were inaccurate because HR 3200 expressly excludes undocumented aliens from receiving government-subsidized “affordability credits”“

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Wilson_%28U.S._politician%29

Certainly C&J you can see the difference here. While President Obama was addressing the Congress and the nation Wilson shouted out to Obama “you lie”. Stark was addressing other members of Congress and made a factual statement.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 25, 2012 6:23 PM
Comment #347212

j2t2

Bush relied on the best intelligence available to him. If he lied, we can say that Obama lied about the recovery.

Did Obama lie about fast and furious?

Re Wilson - He should not have done that. But Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi are the top Democrats in the congress. They did their slanders with premeditation and have not backed down.

Posted by: C&J at June 25, 2012 6:37 PM
Comment #347213
Here is Nancy Pelosi calling Bush a complete failure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC1_-Et_yv0

Once again what is not factual about what she said C&J? Telling the truth is a very up-standing defense isn’t it? I mean even the revisionist conservatives haven’t started the spin on the GWB years. Defend him if you will but trying to sell Pelosi’s comments as outrageous or over the line you have a lot of defending to do. Good luck with that.

What McConnell and Boehner have done is to be leading members of congress before and during the economic collapse and then after the people spoke, and mandated if you use GWB”s logic, refused to take steps to fix the problem. Instead they hindered progress for political gain for their party at the expense of the American people. McConnell stated as much when “Speaking with National Journal magazine about Republican Party priorities for the 2008-2010 Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell explained that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” “

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitch_McConnell

Yes while jobs were hemorrhaging in 2008 the top priority for McConnell was to get Obama out of office. After the people overwhelming voted Obama into the presidency he made this statement. If that isn’t a much more caustic hatred that Starks’s or Pelosi’s comments then you need to go back to school on “nuance” my friend.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 25, 2012 6:41 PM
Comment #347214

Those old dogs like McConnell are exactly why, C&J I said “We didn’t have it as tough as these youngsters have it today despite your theories.”. They are putting politics ahead of country as are their corporate sponsors.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 25, 2012 6:44 PM
Comment #347215

j2t2

So if Republican leaders say that Obama has lost all credibility with the American people on immigration, health care and the economy that would be respectful too?

Just because you agree with the woman doesn’t mean she is not making the attack. Reid is even worse.

You cannot find similar nastiness by Boehner and McConnell.

Re making the President a one termer, do you believe that Pelosi and Reid wanted to help Bush get reelected?

I hope that Obama is a one-term president. I will vote in hopes of making that a reality.

You guys really don’t get it. You think that you can insult conservatives, call them fascist, racists and war mongers and then you get so insulted when we don’t show obsequious respect for Democrats.

For a while, we had a good time just cutting and pasting liberals comments from this blog and changing the names. Liberals here were outraged to hear their own words.

Posted by: C&J at June 25, 2012 7:50 PM
Comment #347216

What it boils down to C&J is not which side I agree with but who is lying and disrespecting and whose is truthing. To think that GWB was duped into using misleading intelligence in the days leading up to the war defies logic IMHO C&J. If he had would he not have told the American people this instead of denying he ever said it?

Of course Pelosi and Reid didn’t want to help get GWB re-elected but that doesn’t mean they were actively foiling legislation during the worse economic crisis, ala McConnell, since the depression solely to keep GWB from getting re-elected, the difference is huge,IMHO.

As your comments descend into vague generalities regarding cut and pasting of liberal comments I can only offer vague generalities in return. Many conservatives here on WB and elsewhere have been name calling for years. They only get thin skinned when the name calling propaganda technique is turned back onto them. Tea Bagger for example is one that seems to upset those that would call anyone to the left of Reagan a socialist.


Since Limbaugh made it the “cool” or “popular” thing for conservatives to do to feel they are part of the group the degrading of liberals and others has continued to grow in volume. This propaganda technique has proven effective to movement leaders through out the years as the weaker minded flock towards these little slurs. Feminazi, or comparing women to Hitler and his stormtroopers, to name one.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 25, 2012 8:30 PM
Comment #347217

Questions anyone should be able to answer when comparing Reagan to Obama;


How many jobs were being lost or gained when each man took the presidency?

Which president came into office with a previous quarters GDP of + 7.6% and which president came into office with a last quarters GDP of - 8.9%

Which President had an economy that stood to gain by massively lowering interest rates?

Which president saw massive continuous gains in both public and private debt during how whole time in office?

Which president saw an increase in total public employment and which one saw a significant decrease in public employment?


The point being the statement, “…the same guys who had the misfortune of coming into the labor market when Carter was in charge have the misfortune of being pushed out of it when Obama is running the show…. ” is just one more uninformed claim about who is responsible for our economy. Older people looking for jobs are in fact having the misfortune of doing so 25 years after the neoliberal policies have fully taken effect. It’s not the president that matters it’s the overall policy milieu. We have the lowest taxes since well before Reagan, major financial deregulation and Free trade agreements, along with major changes in taxes and corporate structure that are the problem for seniors and new graduates as well. The simple minded blame Obama is only made by people who don’t understand the real reasons why our economy suffers so.

Posted by: muirgeo at June 25, 2012 8:42 PM
Comment #347235

muriego

Yeah, those twenty five years of good economy were sure tough to take, but the last few year have been really great.

The economy had a quarter century of good growth with only minor downturns. You consider that a curse. In my adult life, I remember the ten years from 1974-83 were generally bad. The years from 1983-2007 were generally good. During that time, unemployment never rose as high as the lowest rate we have seen since Obama took office. Now times are bad again, but will get better. Anyway, it seems like a quarter century of success is a pretty good record.

As I wrote to others, I don’t believe that presidents have so much power over the economy. I don’t think this economy is wholly Obama’s fault. What he tried to do to fix it didn’t work. But I think it is fair game to hold Obama accountable because he claimed he could fix the problem and blamed Bush for it. Now that he bought the economy, it is his problem.

Posted by: C&J at June 25, 2012 9:37 PM
Comment #347238

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Posted by: When we become overweight at June 25, 2012 10:49 PM
Comment #347253

C&J,

So it was OK for Reagan to increase the debt by 186% and to increase the number of public employees but Obama has increased the debt far less on a percentage basis and he has had a net difference of public hiring compared to Reagan of some 800,000 jobs AND the effective tax rate is as low or lower than Reagan… so what’s O doing wrong? Again… do you know the answers to those questions I asked? Why don’t they matter. Reagan wasn’t dealing with the effects of globalization and technological increases in productivity. If you think conservatives have a simple answer that involves cutting spending and balancing the budget you really have NO idea what’s going on. IN OTHER WORDS… if Obama was spending and hiring like Reagan was and if he inherited an economy half as good as Reagan things might be much different. You want to blame the man and his party but I blame policy. My position is able to explain cogently the narrative of the last 30+ years where as the conservatives have no coherent explanation… only a blame game not based on the facts.

Posted by: muirgeo at June 26, 2012 12:19 AM
Comment #347275

j2t2


Evidence indicates that Bush did not lie are WMD. IMO, Saddam Hussein himself believed he had WMD. All of Iraq was a house of lies about this. Saddam was trying to use the doubt about WMD to increase his leverage. His people were afraid to tell the truth. As president, Bush had to make choices based on the information he thought best.

When Obama told us that his policies would fix the economy, he did that based on what he thought was true. In this case, it turned out not to be. It is a parallel situation.

Re foiling legislation - I was excited by the concept of the ownership society. George Bush pushed reform of SS and of programs of this sort in general. I thought and still think that it would have been a great step forward. Democrats destroyed that. At the time people like you said that, since Republicans controlled the congress, it could have been passed only by Republicans. If this was true with what would have been Bush’s signature issue - when Republicans had a much smaller majority than Dems did in 2009 - how can it not be true for Obama.

Obama passed the things he really wanted, in any case. He pushed through health care, which Republicans hated and most Americans opposed. Had he spent his energy doing something more useful, he would have been a more successful president.

Posted by: C&J at June 26, 2012 6:46 AM
Comment #347278

C&J, Healthcare is and was a major issue that desperately needed to be dealt with. Because he was still attempting to do the will of the people, he was compromising with the repubs. In fact we ended up with the repub plan for healthcare. What could be more useful that fixing the noose that is around the neck of the country?

The ownership society does sound good. To bad his reputation was at such a low point that be could not be believed enough to have truly made America the ownership society. Besides with conservatives when they say ownership society they mean they would like to own the rest of us if their actions are any indication.

GWB wanted to dismantle SS. That doesn’t make the country an ownership society. It makes it a country with the elderly living in poverty. With Wall Street and the moneyed elite sponging the scarce resources of the poor for themselves.

If you want on ownership society start out with bank accounts for newborns that grows with them so they can be an owner later in life.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 26, 2012 9:03 AM
Comment #347309

J2t2

Re “owning the rest of us” - this is an interesting if silly statement. First, “the rest of us” - are you referring to the 20% of Americans who are liberals. Given my observation of the habits of many liberals, I don’t think most conservatives would want to own or even rent one.

Please explain how/why President Obama gave us the Republican program even when no Republicans were involved in crafting it and it passed with only Democratic votes.

Re ownership society – George Bush launched the program immediately after winning reelection. He won a majority of the votes, which means that most voters thought he was the better candidate. You may argue that he won only around 51% of the vote, but you must recall that the Obama “landslide” was only 2% more and that Bill Clinton never won a majority in either election he won, i.e. more people voted against him in both 1992 and 1996 than voted for him.

In fact, Democrats attacked the ownership society because they wanted to deny Bush a major success. In that, they were very much like Republicans in 2009 with health care. In both cases, the Democrats/Republicans involved also suspected the president’s motives and did not think it was the right direction for the country. Political opposition almost always has these two components.

Look at how the scenarios played out. Bush was unsuccessful in getting his plans passed because Republicans were a smaller majority in congress than the Democrats subsequently became AND the Republicans were less in “lockstep” with their leadership than the Democrats. I know that this goes seriously against your narrative, but it is indeed what happened.

Re healthcare being important - SS reform was more urgent. Obama healthcare was supposed to help reform costs. I sure didn’t do that.

Beyond that, ObamaCare might end up being declared unconstitutional. You would think that a constitutional lawyer like Obama might have figured out the odds of this. Of course, how could he or anybody do it. As Nancy Pelsoi said, none of them read it. They had to pass it before they could read it.

Posted by: C&J at June 26, 2012 6:43 PM
Comment #347313
Re “owning the rest of us” - this is an interesting if silly statement. First, “the rest of us” - are you referring to the 20% of Americans who are liberals. Given my observation of the habits of many liberals, I don’t think most conservatives would want to own or even rent one.

Yes it was said with a bit of a grin, C&J. That being said it is still nice to know the conservative misconceptions about liberals keeps us safe from being owned by one of them.

Please explain how/why President Obama gave us the Republican program even when no Republicans were involved in crafting it and it passed with only Democratic votes.

http://healthcarereform.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004182

In fact, Democrats attacked the ownership society because they wanted to deny Bush a major success.

Only if you consider the housing bubble and resultant financial crisis a major success, C&J. Or NCLB to be worthwhile. Or the unfunded Medicare “reform” of ‘03 a major success. Of course we all know about the Tax cuts.. So it seems to me the transference of SS to Wall ST. was really the only thing that you can use to compare the two administrations fight with Congress.

Re healthcare being important - SS reform was more urgent. Obama healthcare was supposed to help reform costs. I sure didn’t do that.

No C&J SS wasn’t and still iasn’t more important than healthcare. The foolishness of the attempt to transfer SS to Wall St. was not more important.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 26, 2012 7:40 PM
Comment #347318

j2t2

re misconceptions - I don’t know. My liberal friends are not very enthusiastic about actual work, but I don’t suppose I have a representative sample.

Re conservative health care - you can say that it is conservative and it might be because that was the best option. But it was passed by Democrats. They did not did not get Republican votes, as you say, and did not need them. So the Democrats passed the bill that the Democrats wanted.

Re the housing bubble - that was unrelated to president Bush’s ownership society.

Re the unfunded Medicare - Democrats like Teddy Kennedy were on board. I have not heard any Democrats advocating its repeal. In fact, Democrats probably would have been more “generous” with tax money.

Re SS - What was advocated was allowing workers to invest part of their SS money into personal accounts. I have the option of a personal investment because I make good money. I want poorer people to have that choice too.

I believe liberals oppose “ownership” because it frees people from the state. Democrats like to protect income, which can be turned on and off by the state. They are unenthusiastic about wealth, which sets people free to choose.

Re health care - the urgent thing about health care was the rapidly rising cost. The Obama folks promised to address this. They did not. All they did was expand the system. They specifically avoided things like tort reform, expanded choice and competition that might have helped bring down cost. They also seem to have abandoned that call we heard so often before Dems were in charge that we should let people buy drugs in Canada.

Posted by: C&J at June 26, 2012 8:46 PM
Comment #347352
Re conservative health care - you can say that it is conservative and it might be because that was the best option. But it was passed by Democrats. They did not did not get Republican votes, as you say, and did not need them. So the Democrats passed the bill that the Democrats wanted.

So then, the repubs healthcare plan from the early ‘90’s was passed by the dems without any repubs voting for it in 2009. Yet you tell me “You cannot find similar nastiness by Boehner and McConnell.” and “I know that these days liberals say Reagan had an easy time and that he did simple things. At the time, liberals hated Reagan and attacked him much worse than anybody attacks Obama today.” I should be able to rest my case now and put to bed the nonsensical idea the Reagan faced anything near the caustic hatred the current president has had to deal with.

Re the housing bubble - that was unrelated to president Bush’s ownership society.
I beg to differ C&J, here is the tip of the iceberg- “Bush did foresee the danger posed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage finance giants. The president spent years pushing a recalcitrant Congress to toughen regulation of the companies, but was unwilling to compromise when his former Treasury secretary wanted to cut a deal. And the regulator Bush chose to oversee them - an old school buddy - pronounced the companies sound even as they headed toward insolvency.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/worldbusiness/21iht-admin.4.18853088.html?pagewanted=all


Re the unfunded Medicare - Democrats like Teddy Kennedy were on board. I have not heard any Democrats advocating its repeal. In fact, Democrats probably would have been more “generous” with tax money.

Really the good old they probably would have done it to argument! Here is what Bruce Bartlett says about that-

“But at least the Democrats don’t go on Fox News day after day proclaiming how fiscally conservative they are, and organize tea parties to rant about deficits, without ever putting forward any plan for reducing them. Nor do they pretend that they have no responsibility whatsoever for projected deficits, at least half of which can be traced directly to Republican policies, according to Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag.

(By my count, there are still 24 Republicans in the Senate who voted for the drug benefit, including such alleged conservatives as Jim Bunning and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, John Cornyn of Texas, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Orrin Hatch of Utah and Jon Kyl of Arizona.)”

http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/19/republican-budget-hypocrisy-health-care-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

Re SS - What was advocated was allowing workers to invest part of their SS money into personal accounts. I have the option of a personal investment because I make good money. I want poorer people to have that choice too.

If your intentions are truly to help “poor” people to have the choice of turning their retirement savings money over to Wall St. perhaps you should advocate for a wage increase along the lines of the percentage increase the CEO’s have enjoyed the past 30 years C&J.

http://www.verisi.com/resources/us-ceo-compensation.htm

http://consumerist.com/2007/04/ceo-pay-up-298-average-workers-43-1995-2005.html

I believe liberals oppose “ownership” because it frees people from the state. Democrats like to protect income, which can be turned on and off by the state. They are unenthusiastic about wealth, which sets people free to choose.

So what liberals are you talking about here C&J? The Faux news channel liberals that exist only in the minds of conservatives? I don’t know anyone that is in this category of opposing ownership unless of course you are actually talking about owning people.

…They specifically avoided things like tort reform, expanded choice and competition that might have helped bring down cost….

Perhaps if the repubs would have participated in the healthcare debates instead of running around making wild and untrue accusations about it these things may have been in the final package. Of course then one must believe tort reform would actually lower costs while keeping the insurance companies and hospitals honest. We have had competition in insurance and healthcare for years yet the prices just keep going up, we need to face the fact the free market exploits the sick not reduces costs. The free market works for many things C&J but not health care nor health insurance.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 27, 2012 12:40 AM
Comment #347357

j2t2

No matter how you slice it, the Democrats passed a bill that the Republicans and the American people did not want. A better leader, a Ronald Reagan, could have found some permutation that would have brought some of the opposition on board. In fact, that is what Reagan did. He would go over the heads of the Democrats in congress to the American people and create compromise. Just because Obama is not up to the job doesn’t indict his opposition.

Obama and his defenders are childish in this respect. What they say is “His failures are the result of others being mean to him.” An adult, like RR, figures out way to work with the opposition, not just cry about it.

Re housing bust - your piece from NYT is helpful. So Bush did see the problem, tried to fix it and was stopped by the opposition. So if Democrat had been more cooperative and/or if Republicans had been in lockstep as Democrats were with health care, or if Bush had been more like Reagan and less like Obama, we might have avoided the worst of the problem. This makes sense to me, but I am surprised you see Fannie and Freddie as such a problem. Most liberals want to claim they were not at fault.

Re the drug benefit - When Democrats call for its abolition, then they can complain about the cost.

Re the poor and SS - I would turn some of their money over to them. I used to be poor. What helped me not be poor were the choices I made and the understanding that I had choices. I want to help others in this way.

Posted by: C&J at June 27, 2012 6:43 AM
Comment #347360
No matter how you slice it, the Democrats passed a bill that the Republicans and the American people did not want. A better leader, a Ronald Reagan, could have found some permutation that would have brought some of the opposition on board.

The American people were subjected to misinformation, half truths and outright lies by he conservative propaganda machine. Death Panels for Grandma do you want that? Now that the dust has settled and the SCOTUS is about to rule on the ACA the American people are not as against the law as you would have us believe. We are against the mandate included in the law though.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/obamacare-healthcare-reform-americans-want

Back in the days of Reagan going to the American people still worked. Today Obama has to go through the corporate sponsors of the Congress to get to the people quite a bit of difference thanks in large part to Reagan.

Obama and his defenders are childish in this respect. What they say is “His failures are the result of others being mean to him.” An adult, like RR, figures out way to work with the opposition, not just cry about it.

Wow really C&J! Using propaganda instead of logic to defend Reagan! I am childish because I tell you the facts! I am not an adult because your opinion is not factual! Obama cries because he got the law passed without the help of the obstructionist! Here I thought you realized the caustic hate of the far right was the problem, not Obama because he stood up to the haters and won.

http://www.pbs.org/weta/reportingamericaatwar/teachers/pdf/propaganda.pdf

So Bush did see the problem, tried to fix it and was stopped by the opposition.

The real lesson to be learned from that opinion piece by Bartlett is that some conservatives can see that the repubs were in fact a huge part of the problem,C&J. The denial by most conservatives as they call for more of the same fall flat. The problem was the foxes GWB put in charge of the chickens or the lack of regulation enforcement or deregulation. In this case the opposition turned out to be GWB and his failure to compromise.

Re the drug benefit - When Democrats call for its abolition, then they can complain about the cost.

So it is the dems fault the repubs passed the bill, because they didn’t repeal the bill, which of course would have the tea party shouting to keep government out of their medicare. What a complex web we weave when we have to resort to such logic to defend the conservatives actions in Congress.

Re the poor and SS - I would turn some of their money over to them. I used to be poor. What helped me not be poor were the choices I made and the understanding that I had choices. I want to help others in this way.

Of course you do C&J. The whole “I have the option of a personal investment because I make good money. I want poorer people to have that choice too.” rang hollow and it is evident why now.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 27, 2012 10:44 AM
Comment #347379

j2t2

I invested money when I worked at McDonald’s. I understand that most people do not have the discipline I do. That is why I want to help people in this case. You want to keep them tied to the state. We differ on this freedom thing.

“Obama cries because he got the law passed without the help of the obstructionist!” -

You said it. Obama passed the laws he really wanted to pass. He didn’t act on the others. He pushed through what he wanted. This is not how a statesman gets things done and why Obama is no RR.

“So it is the dems fault the repubs passed the bill, because they didn’t repeal the bill, which of course would have the tea party shouting to keep government out of their medicare.”

Republicans don’t like the health care bill. They say they want to repeal it. If Democrats oppose the prescription bill, they should say so and advocate its repeal.


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Comment #347637

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