Third Party & Independents Archives

Republicans have ZERO JOBS PLANS (Source: GOP.GOV)

I found it amazingly interesting that if you go to the Republican Congressional website — www.gop.gov — and then click on “Bills” to see a complete list of all bills currently proposed by any Republican in Congress, you get a result list of 142 bills that Republicans have proposed as official and active legislation. Of those 142 bills, ONE BILL mentions the word “jobs” - H.R. 2021: Jobs and Energy Permitting Act of 2011 — and it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with creating jobs. It’s a rider bill for oil companies operating off the shore of Alaska and doesn’t include one single word about jobs.

Don’t believe me? Read the entire text of the bill yourself:

H.R. 2021 would eliminate needless permitting delays that have stalled important energy production opportunities off the coast of Alaska. To do so, H.R. 2021 would make three technical clarifications to the Clean Air Act:

  • The bill would specify that any drilling vessel must be considered a stationary source, and regulated as such, once drilling commences. This provision would eliminate uncertainly about which rules apply and when in the energy exploration and development process.

  • H.R. 2021 would clarify that service ships are not regulated as stationary sources simply because they supply or service Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) sources. Currently, service ships, like delivery trucks servicing factories on land, are regulated under the Clean Air Act as mobile sources.

  • The bill would specify that air emission impacts are to be measures onshore. This is consistent with the emissions measurements that apply to facilities on land, measuring emissions at the point where they could affect the public, whether at the shoreline or on the fence line.

  • The bill would also eliminate the permitting back-and-forth that occurs between Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Environmental Appeals Board. Rather than having exploration air permits repeatedly approved and rescinded by the agency and its review board, the EPA will be required to take final action - granting or denying a permit - within six months. All appeals will go to the D.C. Circuit Court for resolution because of the national implications of oil production on the Outer Continental Shelf and the need for consistency in decision-making.
  • The bill also has 10 official amendments. Not one of the amendments mentions the words "jobs," "employment," or "unemployment."

    Republicans have proposed TWELVE different bills to name U.S. Post Offices, and they've proposed a bill called "Better Use of Lightbulbs," and another bill called "Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act" that "rescinds and permanently cancels all unobligated balances made available by section 1497(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and repeals emergency FY2008 appropriations for the program made available by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008" and five different bills to prevent abortion or abortion-funding. There's also a whopping 58 amendments to a bill called "Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011," ALL of which tack on additional spending for Republican pet projects.

    And, my favorite -- there's H.R. 1473: Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, which the Congressional Budget Office says will cost $1.049 Trillion in annual discretionary budget authority for 2011, and would reduce non-defense budget authority by $44.8 billion from FY 2010.

    But no jobs bills.

    So, if literally the only bill proposed by any Republican anywhere in Congress that includes "jobs" in the bill's name doesn't include any measure or even language that pertains to creating jobs and is literally nothing more than a protection for oil companies, then exactly where and what is the Republicans' solution for the America's jobs crisis?

    They bash Barack Obama and summarily dismiss a plan that they haven't even heard yet, but none of them have themselves proposed a jobs plan for active legislation. Doesn't that strike anyone as ... oh ... I don't know ... GROTESQUELY HYPOCRITICAL?

    But ... there I go again ... using facts to support a legitimate question, instead of trusting what the campaigning professional liars tell me.

    Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 2:45 AM
    Comments
    Comment #328715

    IMO the only jobs that can be created by government is government jobs. If you want private sector to create jobs government needs to create insentives that allow the private sector to create jobs. There are 2 obsticals that may hold up anything the Republican controlled house passes and that is the Democrat controled Senate and Democrat President.

    Posted by: KAP at September 6, 2011 10:57 AM
    Comment #328717

    KAP wrote: “There are 2 obsticals that may hold up anything the Republican controlled house passes and that is the Democrat controled Senate and Democrat President.”

    You forgot the third “obstical”: The House of Representatives has to PROPOSE LEGISLATION FIRST before any Democrat can oppose it. As their own legislative record and their own website proves; they haven’t done that.

    Once again, Republicans HAVE NOT PROPOSED ONE SINGLE JOBS BILL SINCE TAKING OFFICE. Whether or not Democrats oppose a bill that DOESN’T EXIST, is irrelevant.

    Sorry, you don’t get to use the “Get of Responsibility Free” card on this turn.

    Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 11:26 AM
    Comment #328722


    The Republicans forced the Democratically controlled Senate and Obama to pass a jobs bill in December. It was called the Bush Jobs Producing Tax Cuts Extension. Those tax cuts had the word jobs in them. There is no law that says politicians can’t use the word jobs in legislation that doesn’t produce jobs for American workers.

    Posted by: jlw at September 6, 2011 1:30 PM
    Comment #328723

    Like I said Gary GOVERNMENT CANNOT CREATE JOBS, PRIVATE SECTOR CFREATES JOBS. Government can only lift the obsticales they create hindering job growth, and like I said anything the Republican controled house proposes has 2 obsticales the Democrat controled Senate and the Democrat President. What jobs were created when Democrats controlled the whole thing? I’ll tell you 9+% unemployment.

    Posted by: KAP at September 6, 2011 1:33 PM
    Comment #328725

    Democrats didn’t pass a budget at all last year, which is why we had all that gnashing of teeth this year.

    Re job creation - if we want to give Obama credit for creating jobs, a dubious possibility, we probably have to assume that he is doing something.

    So according to this post, the House of Representatives is now running the whole government. Is that what you mean to say?

    As KAP says, government really does not create jobs. At best it can create the conditions where jobs can be created. Otherwise, it just moves resources from one place to another.

    Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2011 1:51 PM
    Comment #328727

    Gary, is there such a thing as a “create jobs” bill, that doesn’t involve spending taxpayer money, that Dems and Libs would recognize as a “jobs bill”?

    Would a bill that calls for elimination of needless and wasteful regulation count as a jobs bill?

    Would a bill that calls for increasing production of our fossil fuel energy qualify as a jobs bill?

    Would a bill that encourages more small business investment, or a bill that encourages corporations to create more jobs here in the US qualify as a jobs bill?

    You searched for bills with the word “jobs” in its title. You confuse government spending with jobs.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at September 6, 2011 2:19 PM
    Comment #328729

    The media (print, TV and radio) is filled with articles and stories concerning the impending failure of the US Postal Service. I won’t bother to link them as they are readily available anywhere.

    The Postal Service is asking congress to help them remain solvent. Many solutions have been offered. One of the biggest drains on the Postal Service is the inability to lay off unneeded union workers. And, the Postal Service claims it has mistakenly paid many billions in overpayment to the union pension fund. It would like to recover this overpayment for operating expenses.

    I have read that the Postal Service wishes to shed many tens of thousands of unneeded union jobs but, by contract, are not allowed to do so. They are asking congress to change that.

    Should congress allow these jobs to be lost? Or, should congress provide the money to maintain jobs the Postal Service claims are unneeded?

    Posted by: Royal Flush at September 6, 2011 2:34 PM
    Comment #328731

    As usual, the primary point is being deliberately obfuscated in favor of rhetoric.

    The point, as clearly evidenced by the GOP’s own site, is that they are total hypocrites for standing in front of a microphone and saying “Where are the jobs, Mr. President!?” when THEY have done NOTHING to try and create any.

    They are being total hypocrites for chanting “Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!” when they’ve done NOTHING to even try to create any.

    They are being total hypocrites for claiming that the administration has done nothing when THEY have ALSO done NOTHING.

    Nowhere did I say that Democrats have done more than Republicans. I only pointed out, and proved, that the Republicans have done NOTHING.

    They’re too busy trying to find any way possible to obstruct any progress whatsoever, so they can cry “See?!? See how the Democrats failed!” come election-time.

    They can’t even be bothered to DO THEIR OWN JOBS, but they bash anyone and everyone else.

    How would Congress create jobs? How about a national infrastructure program that puts construction workers, engineers, architects and planners to work IMMEDIATELY fixing America’s roads and bridges, instead of funneling hundreds of billions to other countries to build theirs?

    Oh … I forgot … spending American tax money on America is unAmerican.

    Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 2:43 PM
    Comment #328732

    I read this article today in Townhall written by Thomas Sowell. It is right on target.

    “Wealth is ultimately the only thing that can reduce poverty. The most dramatic reductions in poverty, in countries around the world, have come from increasing the amount of wealth, rather than from a redistribution of existing wealth.

    What kind of world do we want — one in which everyone works to increase wealth to whatever extent they can, or a world in which everyone will be supported by either government handouts or private philanthropy, whether they work or don’t work?”

    Posted by: Royal Flush at September 6, 2011 3:13 PM
    Comment #328738

    Maybe there is a reason why the GOP and DEMS, i.e. Corpocracy, have chosen not to address the jobs issue for the last couple of decades. Could be ‘globalisation’. Note the emphasis on the more worldly spelling of the word. Could have something to do with the New World Order.
    The soft sell is that in order to keep nations from throwing nukes at each other we all need to come together under ‘globalisation’. By entwining countries in the global economy none is likely to bomb their neighbors.

    The hard sell is that in so doing, developed countries have to take a back seat, in the economy section, and wait for China and others to catch up, wage wise.

    The U.S. gov’t is doing it’s part by:

    Helping businesses through corporate welfare in relocating to overseas markets

    Helping to educate foreign students, 700k annually, 50% student positions in grad school, grant support such as Fullbright Scholarship

    Open borders for millions of immigrants looking for work. Free health, education and subsistence. Helps in driving down wages and provides a money sink for excess wealth/revenue

    Entwining economies through debt sharing, some $14T, Using the Federal Reserve to keep banks afloat around the world. Greek debt to GDP is running about 142% and Italy is about 119% which the IMF will address with about 18% of the responsibility accruing to the U.S. gov’t.

    Managing a ‘slow growth’ economy over multiple decades. Examples: Executive Branch engaging in two wars with no funding, Maintaining high educational costs, Importing skills and labor to lower wages and slow upward mobility for U.S. workers. Keeping the voting public/workers at bay while protecting, at all cost, business and finance, bailouts where necessary, stimulus for the green jobs sector. Stats show they are doing very well; upper end income up 450% while worker income has remained stagnant/falling at 26% since 1970.

    Gary, even though the Post Office is on hard times I hear they are still likely to hire a few folks with the right skills. Maybe give them a try.

    Lunchtime

    Otherwise - - -

    Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 6, 2011 5:20 PM
    Comment #328739

    Gary

    Try not to get annoyed at this statement. It is not an attack on your post.

    What we have is a fundamental difference of opinion about how to create jobs. You and many others here think that government created them. If I am wrong, sorry. That is why we have Obama “creating or saving” jobs.

    People like me, Royal, KAP (if I can speak for them) think that government can create conditions that allow others to create jobs. This is a once removed process and makes for very different policies.

    For example, changing regulations can be a great job creator in the sense of creating better conditions. Simplifying a government procedure can be a great job creator. So can improving infrastructure.

    I sometimes attack Obama on jobs, not because I think he CAN create them, but rather because HE says he can.

    When Republicans criticize Obama on jobs, sometimes they mean that his policies of interfering with business are job killers. Just NOT doing some things will help create jobs.

    Sometimes the best government can do is less.

    Before you jump to the hysterical conclusion, I love government and believe the free market requires strong government doing the right things. In fact, government is so precious that we should use it sparingly.

    Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2011 5:25 PM
    Comment #328742

    Conservatives say to create the conditions for job growth, you must cut taxes and deregulate. Let the free markets perform. But, we have already tried that. The 2000s saw massive tax cuts, deregulation and lax regulation. What did it produce? The worst job growth since the Great Depression. A bubble economy culminating in a spectacular collapse.

    So, what’s the conservative prescription now? Apparently, more of the same. No thanks.

    In my opinion, we have been treading water with the stimulus program and propping up the financial sector (TARP, etc.). It is Japan in the 90s and 2000s. It has avoided catastrophic collapse but has not put us on a trajectory of economic growth. Time to consider some alternate strategies.

    Posted by: Rich at September 6, 2011 5:56 PM
    Comment #328744

    Rich

    Actually, that is not what we saw in the 2000. GW Bush grew government. Regulations of the financial industry increased significantly because of Sarbanes Oxley act of 2002. We also saw political interference in the mortgage and financial markets, with banks pushed into making sub-prime loans in bad neighborhoods.

    We are not seeking zero regulation, but rather intelligent regulation. The goal should be making the system work better, not gain political points.

    So we are not seeking “more of the same”. We are seeking to move forward to a better system.

    Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2011 6:51 PM
    Comment #328748

    Rich

    I just found this -

    Beginning in 1992, Congress established what were called “affordable housing” goals for Fannie and Freddie, requiring them to purchase mortgages that were made to borrowers at or below the median income in the areas where they lived. Initially, this quota was set at 30 percent, but over time (and through the Clinton and Bush administrations) the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) increased the quota to 55 percent and added “subgoals” for loans to borrowers at or below 80 percent and 60 percent of median income.link.

    This is not THE cause of the collapse, but it is a contributing.

    Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2011 7:23 PM
    Comment #328750
    People like me, Royal, KAP (if I can speak for them) think that government can create conditions that allow others to create jobs. This is a once removed process and makes for very different policies.

    Doesn’t boosting aggregate demand create conditions that allow others to create jobs?

    Posted by: Warped Reality at September 6, 2011 7:55 PM
    Comment #328751

    C&J wrote:

    I sometimes attack Obama on jobs, not because I think he CAN create them, but rather because HE says he can.

    When Republicans criticize Obama on jobs, sometimes they mean that his policies of interfering with business are job killers. Just NOT doing some things will help create jobs.


    I don’t know why these two drastically disparate subjects *HAVE* to be muddled and interchanged when they are completely different issues.

    I haven’t said a word about *HOW* jobs should be or are created. I haven’t said a word about either party having better ideas. I haven’t said a word about Democrats being better in any way, shape or form.

    What I *HAVE* said, and still maintain: The Republicans who were elected in 2010 ran SPECIFICALLY ON A “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” platform and literally promised to create more jobs in America. They have attacked any and every attempt at jobs bill proposals, and play the indignant grandstanding game of vaingloriously announcing that they’ll boycott Obama’s speech about jobs on Thursday.

    And yet, since their election to office, not ONE of the “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” Republicans has bothered to even SUBMIT a jobs proposal, let alone fight to get it passed.

    I am only pointing out the SHEER HYPOCRISY of that. But as usual, literally anything that doesn’t arbitrarily praise Republicans must automatically be twisted into blind support for Democrats because flinging blame is easier than addressing facts.

    And the same people who play the “Congress doesn’t create jobs” defense will leap immediately onto the bash-bandwagon whenever one of these liars plays to the cameras and shouts “Where are the jobs, Mr. President?”

    Once again, hypoicrisy wins out over actual public service.

    So, let me put this as clearly as possible and use small words: I am *NOT* defending the Democrats pathetic record on jobs. The Democrat liars suck AS MUCH as the Republican liars. The difference is that rightwingers refuse to even acknowledge the facts when placed square in front of them.

    The Repuvblicans who campaigned on “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!” haven’t done SQUAT in any way, shape or form to promote, create or enhance the possiblity of jobs. All they’ve done is bitch and blame and bullsh*t, because their fan base not only lets them, but encourages them to do so.

    And the argument that Democrats have blocked them is bullsh*t because nobody can block a bill that has NEVER BEEN PROPOSED.

    Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 7:56 PM
    Comment #328752

    “Regulations of the financial industry increased significantly because of Sarbanes Oxley act of 2002. We also saw political interference in the mortgage and financial markets, with banks pushed into making sub-prime loans in bad neighborhoods.”

    Come on, C&J! The financial markets were highly deregulated and regulators took a relaxed attitude toward enforcement of remaining regulations. The entire derivative market was essentially unregulated. Alan Greenspan, in testimony before Congress, admitted that his belief in self regulating markets had been misplaced. “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity, myself included, are in a state of shocked disbelief,.”

    As for pressure on originators to make sub-prime loans, Greenspan attributed the problem to the investment banks and investors and not to political pressure: “The evidence strongly suggests that without the excess demand from securitizers, subprime mortgage originations would have been far smaller and defaults accordingly far lower,..” If it had just been government pressure for loans to high risk minorities, the crisis would have been a minor blip on the radar screen. But, as Greenspan points out, the geniuses on Wall Street thought they had a way of turning the junk into gold by bundling them with higher quality loans and selling them to investors. It should be remembered that the funding for the sub-prime loans came from those sophisticated investors that thought they were getting a Wall Street miracle product.

    I am aware of the GSE goals set by both the Clinton and Bush administrations. However, they would have run into a brick wall if Wall Street had not found the magic formula for marketing them to investors world wide. From what I understand about the recent government and other suites is that they are seeking court orders that those banks which sold the bundled mortgages take back the mortgages under certain warranties related to the quality of the loans.

    Posted by: Rich at September 6, 2011 7:59 PM
    Comment #328761

    Gary

    Jobs are created by creating conditions that encourage people to take initiative. This means rules that are reasonably predictable and perceived as rational by those taking the risks.

    Good infrastructure also allows the creation of jobs. I know that a product like wood or stone can be completely w/o value is it is far from transport.

    You also need a system that gets incentives right. That means that those who make decisions or take risks get the rewards or suffer the consequences. This is not to “reward” so much as to allow for feedback and improvement. You would never learn not to touch a hot stove if the pain were socialized throughout a whole group.

    These things are simple but not easy. They do not create JOBS, JOBS, JOBS directly, so it is hard for politicians to take credit. They also take a long time to work.

    Governments often do the wrong things. They push short term political feel good for long term structural good management.

    I don’t know how to create jobs. Neither does President Obama or Paul Krugman. The difference is that I recognize the limits of all human endeavor.

    I own forest land. I don’t know how the trees grow from the deep science perspective. But I do know how to create the conditions where most of them can grow better. If we have a big storm or a drought, I cannot overcome those effects directly. I have to have done good management up to that point and have to continue doing it.

    Government’s role is much like this. Government can make a great deal of difference. We see good governments creating conditions of prosperity. We can see this worldwide and we can see this among our states.

    Re Republicans blocking or being blocked. Democrats controlled both Houses of congress after the elections of 2006. They controlled everything, presidency plus congress for in 2009-2011. Today they control the Senate and the presidency and Republicans have controlled the for about nine months. Given these realities, you have to wonder who could block whom.

    Re jobs - any politician who promises to create jobs is lying. But I sympathize, since a slogan like, “I will help create conditions that in the long run will help others create jobs” is probably not a winner.

    It is also easier for politicians and the political process to harm job creation than to help, since there are many things they can do that are harmful and fewer of them that are helpful. What politicians do most often is create uncertainty and when people are uncertain they tend to do nothing or make poor decisions.


    Rich

    Financial markets are and were highly regulated. It is hard for regulators to stay ahead of innovations. They tend not to.

    Firms will take advantage of government regulations whenever they can. Many firms practice “lawfare” by hiding among the regulations and using them as offensive weapons against competitors. Established firms often accept regulations, since they raise the cost of entry by others. Firms like ENRON made their profits by arbitrage among regulations that they made a point of understanding better than anybody else.

    Government has a responsibility to make regulations that are effective AND simple. Unfortunately, when they do this, politicians have little scope to help favored groups. That is why they always write in complications, as we has with the sub-prime. People cleverer than they are exploit these inconsistencies and complexity.

    The answer is not more complexity, but less. Sometimes we fail not in spite of our best efforts, but BECAUSE of them.

    Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2011 9:00 PM
    Comment #328762

    C&J,

    Well, if that were so, why would a person in Alan Greenspan’s position think that they weren’t in the run up to the 2008 collapse? Why would he think, to his great disappointment, that his faith in self regulating financial markets was misplaced? Why would he think that the exemption from regulation of derivatives was a mistake?

    “The answer is not more complexity, but less.”

    Probably true. That is consistent with the call by many for the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall firewall between commercial and investment banking. That is consistent with the call by many economists for a breakup of the TBTF banks. These are simple regulatory actions which would have and could in the future prevent many of the problems which led to the 2008 collapse. Yet, they are resisted by powerful entrenched interests.

    Posted by: Rich at September 6, 2011 9:32 PM
    Comment #328765

    If politicians cannot create jobs why were the teapubs running for office promising jobs this past election. Did they get elected because they promised jobs and not as we are told to squash the economic progress with draconian spending cuts?

    Why are they defaming Obama for his attempts to create green jobs?

    Posted by: j2t2 at September 6, 2011 10:19 PM
    Comment #328766

    Rich

    The wonderful thing about law in America, until not very long ago, was that ordinary intelligent people could understand that basics of what was wrong and right. I think a rough simplicity is better than complex perfection.

    Re preventing collapses - we can never prevent all troubles and even really bad ones. All we can do is make sure our systems are robust enough to come back.

    j2t2

    Politicians run by claiming to create jobs. The political process is flawed in that way. That is why we should use the political process only where we really need to do it. When anything enters the political process, it becomes binary, win-lose. A freer, market process allows for multiple choices, negotiations and more winners.

    The reason some people, me included now, attack Obama for trying to create green jobs is that he is just going about it in a stupid way. The jobs he is trying to create are usually not sustainable. Many cost more than even the expected value on a optimistic assumption.

    Obama encourages “green” solar, which doesn’t really work in most of our American climates. But he discourages natural gas, which is actually a very green power source compared with most others.

    We should forget that green label and think instead of appropriate, flexible and sustainable.

    Obama’s job creation, green or otherwise, just has not paid off.

    Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2011 10:30 PM
    Comment #328767

    KAP wrote: “Like I said Gary GOVERNMENT CANNOT CREATE JOBS, PRIVATE SECTOR CFREATES JOBS.”

    Then Boehner, McConnell and the rest of the GOP and teabaggers should rightfully shut up and knock off the “Where are the jobs, Mr. President?” garbage, right?

    KAP wrote: “Government can only lift the obsticales they create hindering job growth, and like I said anything the Republican controled house proposes has 2 obsticales the Democrat controled Senate and the Democrat President.”


    And like *I* said, three times now: THE REPUBLICANS HAVE PROPOSED NOTHING!

    So all your nonsensical drivel about Democratic opposition is a waste of bandwidth because something has to be PROPOSED before it can be OPPOSED.

    You show us *ANY* jobs Republican jobs proposal that has been blocked by Democrats. *ANY* … go ahead … we’ll wait.

    Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 10:35 PM
    Comment #328768

    C&J wrote: “Democrats controlled both Houses of congress after the elections of 2006. They controlled everything, presidency plus congress for in 2009-2011. Today they control the Senate and the presidency and Republicans have controlled the for about nine months. Given these realities, you have to wonder who could block whom.”


    Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency from 2001 through 2009. Given those realities, you have to wonder who could block whom.

    At the height of the Bush II administration, powered by a Republican House and a Republican Senate, the United States was HEMORRHAGING more than 700,000 JOBS PER MONTH.

    I’d love to hear your explanation for how that was Democrats’ fault.

    Just keep on putting party before country (or common sense, or logic, or truth, or facts) and you’ll get that corpocratic dystopia that you’re helping to create.

    Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 10:40 PM
    Comment #328769

    C&J wrote: “Politicians run by claiming to create jobs. The political process is flawed in that way. That is why we should use the political process only where we really need to do it.”


    Ah … I see. When Republicans are caught with their hands on the knife in America’s back, it’s because of a “flawed process.” When Democrats are holding the same knife, they’re psychotic corporate henchmen out to destroy America. Got it.


    C&J wrote: “Obama encourages “green” solar, which doesn’t really work in most of our American climates.”

    But solar works FLAWLESSLY in the southwest where I am. In fact, solar power creates EXCESS POWER that the two companies vying for the monopoly in the region - APS and SRP - are required by law to buy back from the consumer and systemically reduce the rates they charge to other customers.

    And yet McCain, Kyl, Flake and the rest of the Republican bullsh*t artists have all consistently OPPOSED SOLAR DEVELOPMENT IN ARIZONA. Please tell us why that is, and how Democrats are at fault for it.

    Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 10:45 PM
    Comment #328771

    C&J wrote: “Financial markets are and were highly regulated. It is hard for regulators to stay ahead of innovations. They tend not to.”


    Especially when the regulators are literally and figuratively in bed with the lobbyists and executives of the industry they’re supposed to be regulating.

    But let’s relax regulations even further. Let’s lessen the severity of punishments and fines, and make it even more difficult to convict those caught breaking the law. Maybe if we make the entire American industrial landscape into Candyland, then maybe the executives will suddenly grow a conscience and decide, for no reason whatsoever, to suddenly “play fair” and regulate themselves properly.

    Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at September 6, 2011 10:49 PM
    Comment #328772
    Politicians run by claiming to create jobs. The political process is flawed in that way. That is why we should use the political process only where we really need to do it. When anything enters the political process, it becomes binary, win-lose. A freer, market process allows for multiple choices, negotiations and more winners.

    So all the game playing by the repubs over jobs is just as Gary says BS. The problem I have with the “freer market process” is it made up of the same bunch of CEO’s and Chamber of Commerce that is controlling our politicians today. Why do you think they will allow any more winners by dealing with them directly. It is like Bush says “it is easier to run the country if it was a dictatorship” and with out the constitution to guide the corporations it will be a dictatorship.

    Posted by: j2t2 at September 6, 2011 10:55 PM
    Comment #328778

    Gary\

    “Especially when the regulators are literally and figuratively in bed with the lobbyists and executives of the industry they’re supposed to be regulating.”

    You are exactly right. A complicated regulatory environment encourages and almost requires an overlap of these two groups, since they are the only ones who can understand the rules. Former government officials can find lucrative jobs as consultants explaining how the regulations work and/or can be gamed.

    You need to look at the total system. You are looking at individual players and complaining that they are dishonest. I am looking at the whole system that allows and encourages such behaviors. When you find that complex regulations always and everywhere lead to this kind of cronyism, you may conclude that the complex regulations are the forcing conditions.

    You don’t need to “relax” the regulations, but you do need to make them easier to understand and less complex. The political process resists this. You also need to make the regulations single purpose, i.e. regulate to regulate the activity, not try to create other good things through regulation. The example of requiring sub-prime loans is a telling one. A regulation should indicate the boundaries of behaviors. It should never determine with whom you should do business in any specific sense.

    A simplified example: government should build the road and set the general rules, such as speed limits. But it should not determine which citizens, who obey those rules, can use the road nor should it make special exceptions for individuals or groups who cannot or will not meet the general requirements.

    j2t2

    Please see above re the systemic approach. When you address a problem politically, you have to use the political system. This is good, necessary and appropriate in many situations. Some decisions must be made collectively, such as questions of war and peace. But the political process is by its nature adversarial and it is usually zero sum, in that you have to decide on a single course of action that everybody has to do. Beyond that, political decisions need to be implemented by means of laws and bureaucracies, which by law are limited in the flexibility of their responses.

    If the situation calls for this, this system should be applied. You don’t want to make burglary or reckless driving optional, for example.

    In situation that require flexibility of rapid adaption, however, this system is less effective. You can modify the political system, but within limits. It is the old idea of a man with a hammer thinking every problem looks like a nail. If the hammer of government is not the appropriate tool, you should not ask it be applied.

    Our government is not sticking to the things it should do. Our infrastructure, especially the stuff politicians cannot easily point to, is falling apart. We USED to do this lots better in times when government spending was much smaller.

    Some things just are not scalable. A small and efficient government is necessary and desirable. As it gets bigger and takes on more tasks less appropriate to the political or bureaucratic tools it has at its disposal, it becomes less effective.

    It doesn’t really matter if people think government SHOULD do some things. There are some things that it cannot do.

    One more thing is that government always represents some established interests or groups. This is true because only established groups KNOW they have interest that government can defend or further. If you are creating a really new innovation, you are not yet on the government priority lists. Politicians will claim they are interested in helping, but they will not be able to understand the innovation and the rules will probably get in the way.

    As I wrote in a different post, the best way government can help innovation is to create the incubating areas, but not tell people what or how to incubate.

    Posted by: C&J at September 7, 2011 6:57 AM
    Comment #328779

    This is discouraging. According to C&J and other conservative commentators, the government cannot create jobs. It also cannot regulate financial markets robustly enough to prevent major collapses. At best, it can tinker at the margins and hope to create favorable conditions for the private markets and hope that the financial system is so strong that it can recover from its inevitable insane excesses.

    I, for one, disagree with those assessments. For better or worse, the government already is a major creator of jobs. The military-industrial complex is a clear public-private hybrid industry of enormous economic scale employing millions of Americans and having worldwide economic impact. It is one of the few industries having a positive balance of trade. The health care industry is another example. Without the government programs supporting those industries, they would collapse overnight. Whether the government investment in those industries has been wise is another question. But, they are indisputably major components of our GDP and job base. In my opinion, similar commitments or redeployment of current resources to infra-structure development would pay off much greater dividends due to the support it would provide for self sustaining private investment.

    As for the financial regulatory issues, it is clear that regulatory reforms after the Great Depression were highly effective in preventing major collapses in the financial markets for decades. Is it surprising that upon relaxation of those regulatory schemes and resistance to regulation of new financial products (e.g., derivatives) that the financial sector excesses grew without control, became too big to fail and impaired our general economic functioning? Sure, government regulation needs to be smart, simple and direct. We had that for decades. It is time to re-examine our regulatory schemes for the financial sector with the goal of returning the sector to servicing the main economy and preventing run away excesses.

    Posted by: Rich at September 7, 2011 7:20 AM
    Comment #328780

    Not to mention Rick building a new government building be it a prison, office building or whatever does create not only jobs but is an industry in itself.IMHO this is just the tip of the iceberg. When asbestos became a controlled substance, so to speak, an entire industry popped up. When inmates build furniture in a FBOP prison it creates jobs for instructors, drivers and those who supply the prison with raw goods.

    The list goes on as does, the conservative mythology surrounding the issue.

    Here in my neck of the woods the uberconservative county commissioners have decided to make the ambulance service a government service as opposed to the old privatized system. They couldn’t stand the fact the guy that ran it was making money off them. So now the fire department will also be the EMS department. So the government does take jobs away as well.

    Posted by: j2t2 at September 7, 2011 8:41 AM
    Comment #328783

    Rich

    Government CAN regulate financial markets and it has a responsibility to do so. But it must work within the constraints of of the systems it must use to implement its plans. And it cannot/should not try to impose regulations designed to change other aspects of society through the use of financial regulation.

    When you look at any government sponsored industry, you have to ask about other costs. Government cannot really create jobs. As I mention, it has the ability and the duty to create conditions that help create jobs.

    You mention the military industrial complex. We have many good paying jobs in weapons making. But what are the costs associated with giving preferences to those industries? Making a new fighter-plane is not the picture of efficiency. In many cases, the inputs spent are greater than the benefits generated. We accept this in defense, because of the need to defend ourselves, which we know is a cost. We cannot apply this model to too many other things.

    Re great depression regulation - we outgrew them. We used to have regulation Q. You might recall that you used to get 5% on your saving account, not more and usually not less. When inflation went above 5%, it stopped being a useful regulation. Many of the Depression regulations were designed to slow the movement of money, but at the same time to create inflation, since the problem of the depression was the opposite. They worked well and helped create the great inflation of the 1970s.

    Regulations can be good in their right time and place. But they tend to become fossilized and soon the dead hand of some regulator rules.

    Re too big to fail - Regulation should be aimed at making this impossible. We should work to decouple things, so that failure in one does not cause a general collapse. I would favor these sorts of decentralizing regulations. Unfortunately, the Federal government is going the other way. There are calls for “fairness” across the country and across industries. Such a centralized “fairness” is incompatible with a robust system.

    J2t2

    See above. Asbestos is an excellent example of government failure. The use of asbestos was mandated by regulation as a fire retardant. It became so common not in spite of but because of regulation. Then the science changed. Now government regulation is on the other side.

    Posted by: C&J at September 7, 2011 9:35 AM
    Comment #328787

    C&J,

    It was not the federal government that initiated the consolidations in the financial industry with the resulting TBTF financial institutions. It was the industry itself. It desired to compete on the international market with large foreign banks. The major impediment was Glass-Steagall which limited that consolidation across product lines. We couldn’t let London get the lion’s share of the international market. We needed our own giants. So, goodbye Glass-Steagall and hello TBTF. When modifying Glass-Steagall, Phil Gramm threw in a rider with a regulatory exemption for derivatives for good measure. Sure, Congress passed it and Clinton signed it. But, it was the industry lobby that initiated and pushed the legislation.

    Posted by: Rich at September 7, 2011 11:29 AM
    Comment #328788
    Asbestos is an excellent example of government failure. The use of asbestos was mandated by regulation as a fire retardant. It became so common not in spite of but because of regulation. Then the science changed. Now government regulation is on the other side.

    C&J I am not sure where you are getting this information but it appears to be wrong.

    Asbestos has been used in building products since the mid 1800’s C&J. What regulations are you referring to that mandated asbestos, or the miracle mineral as it was called then, as a fire retardant between 1860 and 1950? It was used as a fire retardant of course in many products but mandated by government? Things went south for asbestos because of the lack of safety concerns and the industry hiding the known problems with producing asbestos products.

    Not everything can be blamed on the government C&J. Asbestos became popular because manufacturers promoted it as the miracle mineral and it did in fact have many uses and good qualities. It was not government regulation but the mineral itself that made it popular. It was health concerns for workers that worked asbestos manufacturing and mining that caused it’s downfall. Hiding the problems, which the manufacturer’s did, ended up in the regulations we have today.

    Posted by: j2t2 at September 7, 2011 12:15 PM
    Comment #328798


    The aviation industry, consumer electronics industry, the medical industry and many others should be paying the taxpayers royalties. One of the latest projects of the taxpayers is helping in the creation of a private, for profit space industry. The taxpayers probable reward will be tax dodger companies making big contributions to and demanding big rewards from politicians.

    Posted by: jlw at September 7, 2011 5:17 PM
    Comment #328809

    Rich

    It is the government industrial complex. You are looking at only part of the equation. Government works with business and business uses government, while government uses business. All the established powers work to make regulations that they like.

    That is why you have to be careful about regulations. They may start off looking like they protect truth, justice and the American way, but when they are implemented by bureaucracies in a political process they become different.

    You want to fight business and call them corrupt. Right. So is government and government officials at times. The operative system for freedom is NOT to concentrate power. This means you need sufficient power in the hands of a variety of people and firms so that nobody can get sustained control of coercive power exercised by government.

    I am in favor of government regulation - when used appropriately. But if a little is good, a lot is often not.

    I think the problem for liberals is that they are not radical enough. You actually believe that people can be perfected and that it is just some bad actors (usually Republicans or business people) who put one over on everyone else. I know that ALL human systems are susceptible to corruption and that defense of liberty lies in not giving government or anybody else too much power.


    j2t2

    I have been trying to explain, without evident success, that the sharp division between government and business is a myth. They run together. Business people try to take advantage of government to create regulations that benefit them and they often succeed. Government sets up regulations and others work to benefit from them. It is all part of the same system.

    Asbestos was mandated in building codes. It was considered the best fire retardant. Similarly, various chemicals were mandated on children’s clothing, which later turned out to be harmful. Regulation don’t say specifically that a firm must use x product, but they mandate a result and firms look for what seems to work best. Whenever anything becomes very widespread very fast, it is usually responding to a strong signal often in response to a government mandate.

    I don’t blame anybody. People in government and industry made decisions that made sense back then.

    Think of our friends kudzu and multiflora rose, now invasive all over our southern forest lands. GOvernment distributed them as erosion control or “natural fence” They worked, BTW, but there were other consequences.

    The danger of government power are several:

    1. Government has the power to coerce
    2. Government must deliver through political-bureaucratic means
    3. Government has deep pockets and can continue to subsidize error long after a private firm would run out of money.
    4. Government must deliver services “fairly” i.e. everybody gets the same things.

    You can see that these things may be good when used appropriately. Government is a useful and dangerous tool, like fire.

    If you have something that requires a certain amount of coercion or law, can best be delivered with a political/bureaucratic method and needs to be supported with lots of money, by all means choose government. This does not describe most things we want and need, however.

    I will also add that when government expands too far into too many areas, i.e. get big and intrusive, it begins to fail at its core function. Has government’s ability to deliver infrastructure projects improved or declines with its growing size, for example?

    Some things are not scalable. A government in a small place like Norway or a medium sized U.S. state can do many things that our large Federal government cannot do successfully. So we not only have to decide IF government is appropriate, but WHICH level. These are not easy choices.

    Too often people correctly identify a problem and then want a government solution. Sometimes people, even a majority ruling people, cannot get what they want.

    Posted by: C&J at September 7, 2011 6:46 PM
    Comment #328812

    Here is a good article re how Obama regulations would complicate farming. http://www.american.com/archive/2011/september/why-im-ginned-up-about-regulation

    I am familiar with the regulation surge from my own tree farm. I cannot afford a lawyer, so it is dangerous for me. I can be breaking laws w/o knowing if the paperwork is not right.

    Many rules make sense if you have a backyard the size of a small carpet. You want to keep it tidy. On hundreds of acres, it just doesn’t matter. A pile of sh*t will turn itself into fertilizer and those sticks will rot away of be used by wildlife. Government regulation too often cannot tell the difference between the carpet sized yard at my townhouse and the forest land.

    Posted by: C&J at September 7, 2011 6:56 PM
    Comment #328816

    C&J, I loved your last paragraph. Well said with much meaning.

    Posted by: Royal Flush at September 7, 2011 7:32 PM
    Comment #328826

    “The operative system for freedom is NOT to concentrate power. This means you need sufficient power in the hands of a variety of people and firms so that nobody can get sustained control of coercive power exercised by government.”

    C&J,

    So, do you advocate the breakup of the TBTF banks? Do you advocate the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall? What reforms do you advocate to avoid the spectacular failures of the last decade?

    Posted by: Rich at September 7, 2011 9:54 PM
    Comment #328843
    I have been trying to explain, without evident success, that the sharp division between government and business is a myth. They run together. Business people try to take advantage of government to create regulations that benefit them and they often succeed. Government sets up regulations and others work to benefit from them. It is all part of the same system.

    I agree C&J, yet you seem to want to put the blame on just the government. Your solution is to have no regulations beause some will find ways to manipiulate them. This reasoning doesn’t solve the problem, especially now that wer all have learned the market doesn’t self correct when it is in a feeding frenzy. Never did.

    Asbestos was mandated in building codes.

    No it wasn’t.

    Posted by: j2t2 at September 8, 2011 10:00 AM
    Comment #328909

    Rich

    I would advocate that we don’t have interlinks that can cause a cascade of failure.

    j2t2

    I blame it on the system that links together government and those it seeks to regualte. But blame is the wrong word. Our system generally works about as well as can be expected. We just have to adapt constantly. We also need to be careful never to believe that poltics is the solution.

    There is a general misconception among left leaning folks that somehow government, if run by the right people, is above the fray of business. In fact, government usually develops into its own interest group. It must be counterbalanced just as firms are.

    Re asbestos - government mandated results. Asbestos worked well to achieve them and government and firms accepted the solution. Later it was discovered that there were risks. As I understand it, the risk comes from installing or uninstalling the asbestos. You can live in a house made our of asbestos w/o suffering significant risk unless you do some remodeling, so it really was not such a bad decison given the state of knowlege at the time and the other risks.

    I think we also have to ask the compared to what question. If you have a 5% chance of dying in a fire and asbestos reduces that to .5% at the risk of adding a .5% risk of cancer (numbers for illustration purposes only), you are still making a good deal to add the risk of asbestos.

    Posted by: C&I at September 8, 2011 8:37 PM
    Post a comment