Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New York Times claims Bayh to be a hero, U.S. to be in 'debt crisis'

This is probably the worst front page NYT article I have ever seen. It romanticizes Evan Bayh for being a victim of a gridlocked Washington, when the truth is that he is a self serving hypocrite who was a major cause of the problem, and will probably go on to accept a multi-million dollar lobbying job as a reward for his corporate puppetry while serving as a senator. His father is a civil rights hero who will be remembered as part of the feminist movement for years, while he will not be remembered by anyone for anything, having done absolutely nothing to advance the interests of the oppressed or the american public in general.

At the same time it warns that the US has a 'debt crisis' and that the president will have to break his promise not to raise taxes on those who earn less than $250,000, with the last statement being even more untrue than the first. It is incredibly irresponsible to panic the public into thinking that there is a 'debt crisis' and that this is the time to solve it. Seriously? Now? In the middle of one of the worst recessions in history? Encouraging fiscal contraction during a recession is extremely irresponsible by all parties involved. If we do so, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of Roosevelt in 1937 and Japan during the lost decade, both of which showed that curbing government spending prematurely, before a full recovery, can lead to an abrupt stoppage of growth. When Roosevelt curbed government spending in 1937, unemployment increased, and the economy dipped into another recession. The same happened in Japan throughout the 1990s. (if anyone is terribly interested in this, read Krugman's "Depression Economics", although I assume nobody will be).

And why on earth would the president have to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000, or cut social security? Neither proposal is necessary to return to a balanced budget. Instead, increasing taxes on high income earners back to their pre-Reagan levels (or even remotely near that), cutting defense spending, and PASSING REAL HEALTH CARE REFORM, which inflicts losses on various interest groups (doctors, hospitals, big pharma, insurance companies, etc.) to curb the exploding cost of Medicare, is really all that needs to be done.

Finally, this article makes it apparent yet again that the elite who control the dialog in DC and the ill-informed elite journalists who cover DC are completely oblivious to the truly devastating impact of this recession, because they and the people they know are really not affected by it (as seen in the chart below). In their experience, there never was a recession, just the threat of collapse of the financial system (which has already been solved), so it's time to move on to more important matters like maintaining the value of the dollar, so that billionaires like Peter Peterson (who is cited in the article) can still afford their Ferrari's and their vacation homes which are littered throughout the world. Truly sickening.

(click for larger version)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Wal-Mart Not All Bad

As the largest retailer in the country, Wal-Mart holds a unique position in our marketplace. While many believe they are evil, they are simply trying to maximize their profits, and they usually do so within the confines of the law (the laws need to be changed - but that's another post all together). While this is bad news for their employees, as they desperately try to keep labor wages down, it is actually becoming a good thing for the environment.

Due to the high price of oil, Wal-Mart has taken the step of trying to reduce all shipping costs, and they currently pressure all of their suppliers to use less and less packaging. While it keeps their profits high, it is also good for the environment. Furthermore, they are now developing a "green score" for every product that they carry which will be displayed next to the price sticker. Because of their tremendous market power, they can force suppliers to do this in a way that would never be possible if we still lived in the land of mom and pop stores.

So while the free market system may not be effective for everything (including labor rights, fair wages, pollution regulation, etc.), it has been effective in creating more sustainable production practices. As much as I hate on the free market system and Wal-Mart, it's only right to give credit when what they do what is right.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's been a while

I guess I kind of got too busy/ignored this for a while. Not that I wanted to, it's just that life gets so busy. A lot has happened, both in the world of politics and in my personal life. At the same time, nothing has happened. HCR still isn't passed, I'm still doing the same things I've been doing for the past 2 years. So take it for what it is.

All I really want to do is relive the past few days over and over. But, I can't. So right now I'm sitting in my room, surrounded by the NYT and the Inquirer. I have to count the ads in each, for a research paper I'm doing. I have a different paper due tomorrow. Both, like almost all research papers, will be interesting when they are done, but will be tedious and boring to actually write. So while I will (hopefully) admire my work when it is done, I am in the usual position of waiting until the last minute to do it.

I guess that's all for now. Off to my life again.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rockefeller on Healthcare Reform

Watching the markup of the Baucus bill on CSPAN 3. The Republicans are absolutely insane. However, Rockefeller (D-WV), the main proponent of the public option in the Senate, just finished, and he said some good things, including "I don’t think that the healthcare bill does enough to make healthcare affordable...we had a very very good discussion last night...we are making progress...I look forward to voting on amendments, as I certainly have a lot of them."

The best of his amendments are:
  • 185, Rockefeller, "Strike state exchanges, multiple competing exchanges, and regional exchanges, and create one national exchange"
  • 191, Rockefeller, "Strike health care cooperatives"
  • 196, Rockefeller, "Increase Medicaid eligibility to 150% of poverty"
  • 201, Rockefeller/Hatch, "Remove the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) from the exchange"
  • 206, Rockefeller, "Allow early retirees between ages 55 and 64 to buy into Medicare"
If you're looking for something to do today, call one of these Senators on the Finance Committee and tell them to support those amendments:

Friday, September 18, 2009


Nothing in depth today. In fact, I'm taking the whole weekend off. Enjoy:

And finally, what progressives are saying about the public option:

Hold the Line

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Barack Obama, Rearanged, Means Anti-Christ

Jim Gerlach Against Medicare?

Here is an excerpt of an email from my Congressman, Jim Gerlach (R-PA) regarding an email about health care reform that I had sent to him:

The Democratic Leadership in the House of Representatives has put forth a health care reform proposal in the form of a 1,107-page bill, H.R. 3200. I do not support this bill as it is currently written. We cannot afford its massive tax and spending increases in this time of recession. This bill also contains a "public option plan," in other words, a health care plan that is controlled and run by the government. I do not believe that bureaucrats should be making health care decisions for our citizens, or controlling the medical decision-making process in a way that will delay or deny services for you or your family. It is not the proper role for the government to be telling Americans what doctors they can see, how many x-rays they can get in a year, or what prescriptions they can take. I believe it's imperative to preserve the sacred doctor-patient relationship and prevent the government from interfering in those decisions.

Besides the flat out lies that the government would tell you "how many x-rays [you] can get in a year", does he not think that government has any place in the medical insurance business? Maybe he is opposed to a little program called Medicare. Since he is running for governor of the state with the second oldest population in the nation, maybe he shouldn't position himself against the wildly popular government run insurance program.

And since when have Republicans been such staunch defenders of medicare? Well, since the current health care debate started!