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Debating An Economic Recovery

We are so ready for economic recovery. But doomsayers are still warning of doom, and soon. We’ll get that view, and the sunny side.

People wait in line during a job fair for Home Depot at the WorkSource Oregon Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Tigard, Ore. (AP)

People wait in line during a job fair for Home Depot at the WorkSource Oregon Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Tigard, Ore. (AP)

We just want it to be over – this bad economy meat grinder.  And maybe it is, getting there.  Better job numbers last week.  Industrial production, up.  Car sales, up.  Real GDP, accelerating.  Stock market, perking up a lot.

On the other hand… You’ve got economists out there who are still talking doom and doomer.  The euro melting down.  The Chinese housing market going belly up.  Capitalism itself in some kind of structural death spiral.  Riot and class war.  Visions of apocalypse.  Yikes.

This hour, On Point:  doom versus boom – or at least some blossom – and what we’re up against.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Adam Davidson,  co-founder and co-host of NPR’s Planet Money. He writes the “It’s the Economy” column for the New York Times. His latest column is It Is Safe To Resume Ignoring The Prophets of Doom…Right?

Brian Wesbury, chief economist for the First Trust financial services firm. He’s the author of It’s Not as Bad As You Think: Why Capitalism Trumps Fear and the Economy Will Thrive.

Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University. Senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Once the crisis hit, it became popular to scour the past for apocalyptic predictions that had come true. While many gloomy forecasts came from the left — notably Paul Krugman and Dean Baker — there was one particularly prescient voice from the right. As early as 2004, Peter Schiff, a libertarian investor, was arguing that the housing-fueled economic boom was a bubble waiting to burst. ”

Foreign Policy “Debt-ridden and hidebound, Europe may be on the verge of a painful breakup. America is still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis. Even China and India — the new engines of global growth — seem to be sputtering these days. Worse yet, the usual wonkish prescriptions don’t seem to be working anymore. So we asked 13 of the smartest people we know to give us their one out-of-the-box idea for fixing the global economy. Here’s what they recommend.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • Ellen Dibble

    “The Profits of Doom”?  See Guests above, and the Adam Davidson introduction.  I think when profits are all paper, cooked up by computers, then you have a house of cards, and the profits do spell doom, fifty-two pickup, in card-throwing speak.  But can we do without profit altogether?  Total flat-lining?  Sun to sun, summer to summer?  This gets me thinking.  Total barter, plain goods and services, no currencies in the way.  No grease for social change or innovation, or war.  No investments or life insurance, no safety nets, no too-big-too-fail.   No prophet sharing either, I suppose.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Shhhhhh!  Don’t tell the TRAITORS that they are killing the country they ‘pledge’ to, in public, but in private, PLEDGE ALLIEGANCE to GREED?

  • Tom

    I wonder if you could invite Jeremy Grantham on as a guest sometime.

  • Newton Whale

    Yes, the economy is recovering. The Bush crash of 2008 bottomed out in March 2010. Since then, we’ve had 23 consecutive months of private sector job growth. (See chart).

    This was a result of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was passed on January 28, 2009 and kicked in over the following year.

    Three months ago the non-partisan CBO evaluated its effectiveness as follows:

    “The economy would have been in much worse shape without the 2009 stimulus — which increased employment in the third quarter of this year by as many as 3.3 million full-time jobs, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.””

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/68965.html#ixzz1lllD0zj9
     President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act passed without a single Republican vote in the House. 

    If Republicans had there way there would have been no recovery.

    • Gregg

       That’s funny!

  • Yar

    What gives our money its value?  Some would say it is paper and the value is fake, others would say our military gives it, its might.  I believe our children, our homes, our infrastructure, gives money its long term value.
    I am not worried about the paper, the debt, the banking crisis, the bailout, or the past.  No, we didn’t bail out the banks, we only moved numbers on a page, we didn’t destroy or create wealth in the process.  What is money? It is trading work over time.  When we create money without doing something of value we only change what money represents.  The bubble we have created is a numbers bubble.  In other words, render unto Ceaser, is not submitting to power, it is a declaration that value is in people, not in a coin.
    We should focus on the crooks who have played the current system while not freaking out over the coming collapse of the dollar.  The housing bubble grew through immigration.  I think the housing collapse was triggered by anti-immigration rhetoric. It was destine to fail, but timing was related to immigration vitriol.    Who do you think was filling those lower rungs on the housing ladder?  
    Banking crooks allowed (encouraged) people to trade ownership of their home for paper.  Wages stayed low as more money was created.  People bought all kinds of junk, including food, with what on paper (in a computer) was equity in their home.
    The bank crooks did not stop there, do a Google search of “O.J.C. 5595″
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/05/business/mortgage-tornado-warning-unheeded.html?_r=1

    The bottom line is that as banks were creating fast money they were also stealing.  Homes may have more than one mortgage holder, not a shared or packaged debt, but selling the same debt more than once.  At least some loans are fiction.  The solution is to create a national database that uses geo-data to establish ownership of real property.  I contend in some cases missing or sloppy paperwork is used to hide fraud of selling loans multiple times.  The unwinding ‘with all deliberate speed’ is to delay uncovering fraud.  Banks are carrying many times current value on their books, write downs and fraud are figuratively kept hidden in the back drawer. 
    As a country we must invest in our children, for they give our retirement, social security its value. Our goal is to trade work over time.  We work for the next generation so they will care for us in our old age.  Now that is something to worry about.  Wages need to be tied to something that provides for us in all stages of life. Can we can talk about the economics of jubilee?

  • AC

    i more interested in knowing what makes up the new economy with the world population being what it is…i heard on your station yesterday a report that stated the app market has created many jobs, but what else is changing?

  • Still Here

    We’ve got meager economic growth enabled by government handouts from deficit borrowing.  If bond buyers started to lose confidence in the US or feared inflation from all the excess liquidity, we’d be sunk. The economy is plagued by excess capacity created during a 20+ year credit bubble.  A natural deleveraging process must be allowed to occur; the government is just postponing the inevitable.

    Focus: the new credit bubble is in student loans.  The burst will come and it will be painful for all.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Predicting the next disaster to be caused by GREEDY rich banksters, and ‘financial managers’?
         Robber Bankers aren’t rich enough yet?  Or have they just not completed their mission of destroying the U.S.?

  • Jasoturner

    Bear in mind that it is politically expedient for one party to not see an economic recovery.  That is not to say they do or do not wish to encourage a recovery.  I shall not try to judge their motives.  But the political advantages to a depressed economy are factual and large.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The ones that have said “NO!”, to many things that could have speeded up the economic recovery, and kept the U.S. from being weakened, while giving $MILLIONAIRES, and $BILLIONAIRES huge RAISES?
         The party that made the ‘conservative’ move of saving $ 12 Million, by LOSING $354 Million in aviation taxes?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

      Well put sir.

    • Anonymous

      Mitch McConnell has made speculation of their motives unnecessary when he declared his main priority was to defeat Obama.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Four years of “NO!” government, to get one person out of office, isn’t productive?

  • Hidan

    If we go to war there be even more people waiting for a recovery.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Almost everyone that I have talked to about it, grudgingly admits that there is a slow increase in jobs, and a better economy.  You  don’t stop a boulder rolled over a hill, quickly?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Will Republicans be HONEST, and call themselves the ‘Food Stamp Party’, now that it was shown that ‘W’s admin. had over half a MILLION more people on Food Stamps?

  • Anonymous

    I consider changes in corporate culture to be the single greatest threat to America. This cannot be divorced from tax codes which reward gambling, overseas investment, and tax
    the wages of laborers at a higher rate than the winnings of speculators. Our ‘highest corporate tax rates’ in the world are effectively among the lowest and only encourage the
    shipping of jobs overseas.

     

    Republicans love to compare this recovery to previous recoveries, but in past recoveries, 4 out of 5 jobs created by domestic corporations WERE NOT CREATED OVERSEAS as is the case today: that means that to expect a similar recovery based upon similar contributions from corporate job creators, today’s corporations would have to grow at 5 times the rate of the past. This is rubbish: Republicans only have themselves
    to blame for their failed economic policies which have promoted outsourcing and layoffs of workers in every class.

    I am a highly trained, insightful and skilled engineer. I lost two jobs that were shipped overseas by corporate executives on a quest to raise ‘shareholder value’ by cutting labor costs
    without factoring in skill, understanding, quality, commitment, team work or accountability. Ultimately the teams who replaced me, could not deliver.

    I was surprised that the president was surprised to hear of engineers having difficulty to find work: I guess that hee didn’t get the memo: corporations just want to hire kids at low wages. They don’t value ‘experience’. Even working with the finest young engineers from MIT, WPI and CMU in the Northeast, as I have been doing for years now, the naivete and hubris of youth produces some very, very costly engineering screw ups.

    Only seven percent of the cost of manufacturing an iPhone is labor. I read of Steve Jobs pulling a scratched iPhone out of his pocket and ranting about how it was unacceptable. No
    kidding??? I could have told him how unacceptable that was in about three seconds, long before he wasted the engineering to manufacture it and embark on his clever plan to rule the universe :^)). Yes it was a prototype, but when you engineer a product, your schedule is based upon sound,
    rational decision making based upon trade study. To have an awe crap moment like that implies a management process out of control and little accountability. Seat of the pants engineering may be fun, and produce some awesome results, but compensating for poor engineering and management by using agile slave labor is just sweeping your underlying deficiencies under the rug.

    Is this not a systemic corporate cultural problem that harkens back to the 70′s when Detroit started to be crushed by the weight of the automotive garbage that it was producing?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Management gave themselves RAISES and BONE-USes, didn’t they?  That’s ALL the sucess they need?

    • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

      I worked for computer companies in the northeast and had much the same experience.  They were great places to work in the ’80s but started falling apart in the ’90s except for a few niche companies.  While building world-wide companies is very sensible (people do need to buy items around the world), off-shoring most jobs should be taxed heavily. “Fragile” development is problematic, especially for complicated systems.  I’m frustrated that software I used regularly 10 years ago no longer run on the computers I use today.  In many ways, I feel like I get less done than I could years ago.  I suspect I’m not the only computer user with this experience.

  • aj

    500 Protest NYPD Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Teenager

    About 500 protesters rallied in the Bronx, New York, Monday to protest last week’s police shooting of an unarmed teenager inside his parents’ house. Eighteen-year-old Ramarley Graham was shot at close range in the apartment’s bathroom after he had chased into the house by narcotics detectives. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly initially said Graham “appeared to be armed,” but no weapon was recovered. Kelly also said a bag of marijuana was found in the home. At the rally protesters condemned the police treatment of black youth.Protester: “From the stop-and-frisk policy, where Ramarley was brutally targeted, right up in his home and shot point-blank — this is not about finding criminals. This is a system, which you are complicit in, that criminalizes youth that look like me. We are not criminals.” 

    • Hidan

       Dude Onpoint rarely coverage cop shooting, When the Bart Police shoot point blank a man on his back while being held down by another officer it didn’t even make the radar of onpoint.

      Blacks tend to have it much tougher in the Onpoint/WBUR universe with covering abuse by police.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Killed for a bag of marijuana?  MANY questions!
         Why did he run?  Why did he run to the bathroom, where it’s easiest to dispose of drugs?  Can an officer NOT tell if someone is armed?   What was seen as a ‘weapon’?  This definitely bears investigaiton, by HIGHER than the P.D. C.I.D.!
        

  • Yar

    Anybody else having trouble posting to the pythons in the everglade story?
    Here is my thought.
    Is there a simple way to sterilize these snakes?  Could radiation or surgery be used to sterilize all imported pet snakes?Understanding the mating signals may serve as a way to control population,  if a hormonal scent is emitted and can be manufactured or extracted it might be used in traps to attract and catch the snakes.  What happens as the snake population peaks and the pray population crashes?  Think lemming migration, but instead of lemmings, a plague of pythons. 

    Come to think, of it sterilization might be a just punishment for financial crime.  
    I will delete this as soon as I can post it on next hour’s show.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I, too, tried to post a comment on the pythons, and got a Disqus Error.
         Sterilizing the snakes would do little good, because they are already too numerous, and live so long?
         I would think that someone so eat up with GREED, would have rendered themselves sterile, either by their GREED, or in order to not be distracted from their GREED?

      • Modavations

        Does the cocktail hour now continue into the morning.Why don’t you # your bleats.For instance
        1.Bush did it
        2.The Greedy Rich did it
        3.The Pervert Priests did it.
        As these bleast continues daily(Terry mentioned that he repeats this stuff even when asleep),you could save us all time.When appropriate just say Bleat #1 and we’ll understand .As you discover new bleats ,we’ll add them to your retinue.
        By the way calling half of America Traitors is a bit much.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Moda accuses me of stalking?  Yet, like now, he comments on my comments, when I have NOT commented on something he posted?

          • Modavations

            You wanted war,you got war

        • Terry Tree Tree

          HALF of America has exported jobs, for their own gain?
             Someone that makes a decision to fill their own pockets, at the detriment of the U.S., and their fellow countrymen, isn’t a Traitor?
             Taking actions that weaken the country you live in, isn’t a form of treason?
              WHY wouldn’t you consider it treason?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Moda supports the perverted priests? 
              He keeps crying about my mentioning them?
             If the perverted priests had NOT done it, they wouldn’t be perverted priests?
             Personally, I am AGAINST Child-Molesters, and Child-Abusers! 
             Moda wants to let them get away with it, by ‘forgetting’ and ‘forgiving’ these criminals?

      • Hidan

         that video of the snake and gator was pretty cool. amazing the snake got the gator to back off.

    • Alex Kingsbury

      Hello Yar,

      We’re having some technical difficulties posting in the page for the pythons hour. Hoping to get it fixed asap.

      Meanwhile, if you post them in this thread, I’ll make sure that Tom sees them.

      Thanks, and keep those comments coming!

      Alex

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

        For the Python Invasion discussion: Are there any laws in the works to tackle the root cause of this problem? i.e. Americans purchasing exotic pets they cannot handle and adequately take care of and then releasing them into the wild. Is there a registry for this sort of thing? Does anyone check up on them to see if they are prepared to own these animals? Are there any penalties for people that actually do let them go?

        Thanks Alex

        • Terry Tree Tree

          GOOD IDEAS there, Dan!

      • Yar

        Thanks Alex,

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Thanks, Alex!

      • Yar

        Alex, is there any way to keep a thread from getting to a single column of letters?  It becomes unreadable. Some threads are 16 layers deep on this story. 
        Thanks

  • dirk in omaha

    would you pls ask your guests how much of our post WW2 boom was dependent on the relative lack of industrial capability in the rest of the world, thanks

    • Terry Tree Tree

      GOOD, and pertinent question! 
         Since the GREEDY have exported this industrial capability to companies that use slave-labor?
         Since the GREEDY making these decisions, DO NOT cut their pay and benefits BEFORE cutting ANY one else, or exporting the jobs, and equipment?
         Since the GREEDY lie about so much of their reasons of ‘down-sizing’, which is EXPORTING the jobs, NOT down-sizing?

      • notafeminista

        Sure.  Because Americans are the only ones who deserve a job.

        • Anonymous

          Americans can compete if there is a level playing field.  Workers can’t compete with child slaves in countries with no environmental or safety regulations.

          • notafeminista

            Right.  We punish them because they don’t play by our rules?  Wow.

          • Anonymous

            If they want access to our markets, they need to play by our rules. 

          • notafeminista

            They don’t want access to our markets.  We want access to theirs.

          • Anonymous

            China doesn’t want to sell to us?

          • notafeminista

            China doesn’t care.  They can and will sell to someone else. That is the beauty of the free market.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            GOOD IDEA!  Thanks!

  • still just cory

    Recovery really needs to be defined.  Here are 2 definitions:

    1.  Unemployment claws its way down to 8%, though millions have fallen out of the data as they haven stopped looking for work.  Cuts at the state level mean reduced services and failing schools.  Pay and benefits are further supressed and unions go the way of the dinosaur.  Tens of millions will never be able to retire, as social security and medicare are under constant threat.

    2.  5% unemployment, good schools, stay at home moms/dads raising kids, retirement and leisure accomplished before bodily failure, higher tax rates on top earners.  The American Dream, yo!

    I know which recovery I see.

  • The_Chris

    Talk about the problems with austerity programs and the downward spiral of perpetually cutting services, cutting pensions, etc. 

    • Still Here

      Talk about the downward spiral of ever rising debt to pay perpetually rising pensions. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        The pensions and benefits at the top?  The ‘deciders’, that bankrupt companies, then use their Golden Parachute?

      • Anonymous

        Do you know how pensions work? In the case of state pensions the workers paid into the system.
        In some states governors and legislators did not pay into these funds the amounts they were supposed to. New Jersey is on shinning example of this. People have paid into a pension fund with the hope of getting a return. Now you seem to be saying to bad, we should not pay.

        I think the least these rubes can do is pay back what the workers paid in. Seems only fair to me.

        • TFRX

          Silly public workers, depend on something so pie-in-the-sky as a contract, or a legal obligation.

  • aj

    -Arms Dealer to the world-

    ” By recent estimates the F-35 will now cost U.S. taxpayers (you and me, that is) at least $382 billion for its development and production run.  Such a sum for a single weapons system is vast enough to be hard to fathom. It would, for instance, easily fund all federal government spending on education for the next five years. ”

    -William J. Astore

    • notafeminista

      382/5 = 77 BILLION  per year on education for 5 years.  For WHAT?!  We already spend 10k+ per student per year and test scores just keep going down.  At what point do we learn the “good money after bad” concept?

      • Modavations

        13,000

  • wauch

    All you need to hear about this hack Westbury can be found on the Bloomberg Surveillance archive. He is completely out of touch with the real world and in love with ad hominem attacks on his opponents. TOM SHAME ON YOU FOR HAVING THIS MORON ON YOUR SHOW!!!

    • Still Here

      I hate moronic hacks who use ad hominem attacks!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    The yellow six-foot python pictured, BROKE OUT of its terrarium, and STRANGLED a  TWO-YEAR-OLD GIRL TO DEATH? 
       FOOLS buy these animals, then release them in the wild, when they get bored with them, or have a close-call with it?

  • nj

    Arrrggh!! Another show on the economy, another show that apparently will not even mention, let alone give serious consideration to a steady-state/non-growth viewpoint. 

    Consider me begging…

    http://steadystate.org/

    “Perpetual economic growth is neither possible nor desirable. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves. Recession isn’t sustainable or healthy either. The positive, sustainable alternative is a steady state economy.”

    http://richardheinberg.com/bookshelf/the-end-of-growth-book

    “Economists insist that recovery is at hand. Yet, unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in our economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits.”

    http://www.upne.com/1584654953.html

    “In this compelling and cogently argued book, Tom Wessels demonstrates how our current path toward progress, based on continual economic expansion and inefficient use of resources, runs absolutely contrary to three foundational scientific laws that govern all complex natural systems. It is a myth, he contends, that progress depends on a growing economy.

    Wessels explains his theory with his three Laws of Sustainability: (1) the law of limits to growth, (2) the second law of thermodynamics, which exposes the dangers of increased energy consumption, and (3) the law of self-organization, which results in the marvelous diversity of such highly evolved systems as the human body and complex ecosystems. These laws, scientifically proven to sustain life in its myriad forms, have been cast aside since the eighteenth century, first by western economists, political pragmatists, and governments attracted by the idea of unlimited growth, and more recently by a global economy dominated by large corporations, in which consolidation and oversimplification create large-scale inefficiencies in material and energy usage.” 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Rather than offering fillibuster, how about giving a summary of what a steady-state economy would look like.

      • nj

        Curious (misspelled) word choice from the English teacher. Since when is providing links to and excerpts from an alternative to the prevailing paradigm a “fillibuster” [sic]?

        • Modavations

          Friggin nitpicker.I understand his point

          • nj

            You have me confused for someone who cares the least little bit what you think.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Some interesting concepts there! 
          If we gave ALL the subsidies that have been given to coal, oil, gas, and nuclear for the past hundred years, to renewable energy, we wouldn’t be Energy DEPENDENT?
         If we didn’t have the growth economy, executives couldn’t keep getting richer, and richer, by exporting jobs, and whole industries?

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 2

    • still just cory

      Proposing a non-growth paradigm in America is like proposing abolishing the military or a boon in mass transit spending.  Un-American, unpatriotic, and commiting the unforgivable crime of questioning American exceptionalism.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

       Capitalism is not steady state – it depends on growth to stay alive. There’s a word for capitalism in a steady state – they call it stagnation. Boom-bust is an inherent part of the system.

    • Observer

      I found the idea of Steady State Economics appealing from the time I did a college paper on Herman Daly for my Resource Economics Class.

      My concern is how/weather it can be achieved without massive central planning and restriction personal liberties. Yes, Nanny Statism.

      Not because I don’t like the idea, but I don’t believe that highly coercive and centrally-planned societies are peaceful and sustainable politically over the long term.

      http://www.thefreemanonline.org/headline/diversity-ends-rules/

      • Anonymous

        So lets go for social Darwinism.

        • Observer

          Why do you want to do that?

          How about just competition in business and no bailouts.

          Accountability.

          Why are you against Accountability?

          We have traded in Accountability for Printing Money to paper over all the systemic debt problems and corrupt market rigging we have.

          • Modavations

            He’s just looking for a fight.Pay him no attention.A failed bitter man.I call Wrong side

      • nj

        Leather Dave of a Thousand Handles back with more tiresome, repetitive ideology about mythical “free” market solutions that exist somewhere in the clouds. 

        Any market, any economy is a human fabrication, a construct of people, and, yes, governments. These systems need to be “coercive” or derive from “central planning.”

        • Observer

          “Any market, any economy is a human fabrication, a construct of people, and, yes, governments. These systems need to be “coercive” or derive from “central planning.””

          Now that is Hogwash.

          You just can’t swallow the idea of not telling everybody else you are smarter than what to do.

          There is no reason, besides efficiency, that our economy should not be voluntary, and economic development/growth, organic.

          Freedom vs. Efficiency is a real tradeoff. When the majority prefers Freedom, tough cookies.  But thats when the real coercion comes in doesn’t it?

          China is going the low freedom/high efficiency model.  If you like it, you should go. I can’t see most Americans going for it.

          I know most of our central bankers and State capitalists would love nothing more than to merge with China for the ultimate power monopoly, but I don’t think the people are going to go along.

          • nj

            Honestly, this isn’t worth the effort.

            Leather Dave yammers, “You just can’t swallow the idea of not telling everybody else you are smarter than what to do.”

            Let me go run that through Google Translate and see what comes up.

    • Modavations

      Who’s gonna read that tripe

      • nj

        Small-minded, lazy, ignorant and proud of it. Your mama must be so proud.

        • Modavations

          She’s dead

  • Anonymous

    As Jeffrey Sachs says “the root of our economic crisis lies in a moral crises: a decline of civic virtue among America’s economic and political elite.” Where are the acts of good citizens who pay their fair share of taxes and care about educating the next generation.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      NOT in the top 5%!

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 2 (Greedy Rich)

    • notafeminista

      Good acts aren’t punishable by law if you fail to commit them.  That’s coercions.

    • Observer

      How about we work toward dismantling the “economic and political elite” instead of continuing to empower them as Benevolent Dictators or Philosopher Kings, letting them operate outside the Rule of Law, in hopes that they will do what’s right for us or at leas throw a few crumbs.

      Self-Government or Tyranny.

    • Modavations

      Jeffrey Sacks is to the left of the left

      • Anonymous

         He has real life solutions based on research. He is definitely a liberal… a very brilliant one.

  • Anonymous

    Arghhhhh… the Valentine day rose pitch by BUR…..
    I was going to listen to this show, but I can’t take this anymore.

    • Anonymous

      I listen on CT or VT NPR during the begging.  I don’t mind the short announcements but when it goes on and on and on and interrupts the programs it becomes unbearable. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        On programs like this, I wonder if it doesn’t do more harm, than good for donations?

        • Anonymous

          The CT station had a SHORT and funny announcement with Nina Tottenberg covering sports instead of news to show why NPR needs to be supported.  Much better to listen to than the begging.  What percent of the proceeds from the flowers goes to WBUR? 

      • Anonymous

        Good idea, will do.

    • nj

      Listen on NNPR online (Connecticut public radio)…www.npr.org. No fundraising there during OnPoint at the moment.

      • nj

        Oops…make that “WNPR”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The one thing they are not dealing with, either in Europe or here is that you can’t just accumulate debt forever. At some point you have to stop borrowing (eliminate deficits) and pay it back (eliminate the debt). Any “deals” or “bailouts” that don’t do this are just smoke and mirrors.

    Until then, it’s like this ever growing anchor attached to your ship that will eventually sink you.

    • Ray in VT

      A good part of this problem is political.  Both of the major parties and their candidates have tried to be the one that offers tax cuts for just about everyone.  But when we’ve increased spending, we’ve still cut taxes.  The large items, at least in the Federal budget, have become almost untouchable in terms of cuts, but no one wants to increase spending to cover rising costs or new initiatives.

      • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

        And one of the big problems – we had a government that went into costly wars without paying for them.   Bush sent us into wars and lowered taxes.   That’s a big part of the deficit right there.  When a government sends a country into war, the government and the people must be willing to pay the price, rather than mortgage our retirements and our children’s futures.

        • Ray in VT

          That was certainly a part of what I was getting at without going into specifics.  I think that the Medicare prescription drug benefit was another thing that was created without coming up with the funding to pay for it.

          • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

            That’s fair, but I do think people who can’t afford health care, especially older folks, need more help.

          • Ray in VT

            I agree, but it should have been paid for, and that’s a big part of our problem.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            30 Insurance companies, EACH with its own confusing contract, and obfustications? 
               People with medical problems having to try to sort through the confusing contracts, and mis-leading ads?

  • TFRX

    What made, in the NYT’s estimation, the right-wing Peter Schiff more prescient than Dean Baker and Paul Krugman?

    Where is the liberal on today’s panel? (And no, Planet Money doesn’t count.)

  • Anonymous

    If you watched Jim Cramer last night, he is predicting a market boom… a bull market coming… what is he on?

    • TFRX

      As a general rule, isn’t “watched Jim Cramer” part of the problem for someone who wishes to know about the economy anyway?

  • Mike in PA

    Don’t forget about Ron Paul, when you discuss doomsdayers!

  • Observer

    So we are STILL going to gloss over and defer to “mainstream” economists, when you guest just described how wrong they are?

    When the arguments/warnings/predictions are based on logic and an mechanistic understanding of our economic underpinnings, it is not a lucky guess.

    http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=32412

    Unbelievable that we are going to waive away all the mainstream biases and flawed assumptions if not downright fantasy thinking/corruption that led us to our crisis.

  • Observer

    Authoritarian Capitalism (China)

    Please lets not be so desperate we go there….

    https://www.montpelerin.org/montpelerin/documents/Toby%20Evans.pdf

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

       We’re going there. 1984 is coming – only instead of under a banner of socialism it will be under a banner of capitalism.

  • Yar

    The older (average age of its citizens) a country becomes, the lower the longer term economic growth rate, unless subsidized by immigration.  We are not having enough kids to sustain a growth based economy.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      We have 11 million to 44 million illegal aliens, to take care of that problem?

      • Yar

        We should thank them for the work they do to support our economy.  They work, work is the only thing that create value.

        • notafeminista

          Why aren’t the 8.6% of unemployed Americans doing those jobs?

          • Yar

            I would like to offer them the opportunity to become Americans.  Voluntary Immigration is one of the great successes of our country, while slavery is one of our worst failures.  Exploiting illegal aliens is a form of slavery.  Deport the employer and make citizens of the employee. How is that for a solution? 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Mexico is NOT in Central America?  Columbia is NOT in South America?
               I know someone married to a U.S. Millitary member, that has been pursuing her U.S. Citizenship, since 2003.  Because the Millitary moves them around so much, including overseas, the INS regulations and methods make it hard for her to get Citizenship.  She is mother to 2 U.S. Citizens.
               I do NOT favor placing an illegal alien in front of her!

          • Yar

            I didn’t know the line was single file. These are false comparisons, these workers are already here, and their status is a form a slavery. They depress the labor market, not because of their labor, but because of their status. It is exploitation. Make them legal and then they can demand fair wages, and then I have a level playing field in which to compete. We will never kick them out, so that makes people against citizenship hypocrites. Read Tomatoland and you will see the extent of slavery in US Agriculture.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            I AGREE that illegals are brought here to be exploited! 
              I don’t agree with giving people here illegally  citizenship.  They broke the law, and get rewarded?  People using the legal method, have to take a place farther back in line?

          • notafeminista

            You didn’t answer the question.  Why aren’t the unemployed Americans in those jobs?  We read/hear/see everyday that there are no jobs, people have been literally unemployed for YEARS…and yet this ridiculous chunk of (presumably) illegal humanity manages to find gainful employment.  Given that apparently there are no jobs, how is that possible?

  • TFRX

    Good thing Davidson is dealing with China’s “catchup growth” right away.

    I don’t hear this kind of knowledge often, and certainly not as the prerequisite, the “before-class reading”, in the mainstream media.

  • Observer

    “Fringe”?

    Ron Paul is the only political figure in the national spotlight that speaks to the nonsensical excuses about the “Business Cycle” being natural and unavoidable.

    Why underlying cycles may be real, our monetary policies and corrupted management of the economy puts them on steroids.

  • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

    Change so radical is coming that the powerful, the elites, government, corporations, religion, the military industrial complex are all quaking in their boots for the first time because it’s not the end of THE world, it’s the end of THEIR world. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Naw, they’ll find ways to keep stealing, lying, cheating, and selling ‘financial instruments’, that are imaginary?

      • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

        They can only do this as long as the masses allow them to. The problem is that with more information being freed the masses will soon rise up. It’s just a question of when.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          The ‘masses’ need to realize that the ‘masses’ DON’T have F-35 fighter jets, and other advanced weapon systems, and that is what can be used against armed uprisings. 
             Millitary systems, back when I was in the millitary, could easily have handled any armed uprisings.
             I keep up with weapons systems, sort of, and they are getting more efficient.

          • Jeff from Belmont, Mass

            When millions of Americans rise up the military will back down. All the fancy weapons in the world don’t matter if they can’t be used. If the military attacks their own people then America will be over.

          • Modavations

            Spoken like a real Aparatchik.Do you consider yourself a communist?

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 2

  • Abel

    I see doom ahead, and the reason is pretty simple. We did nothing to reform the system that has caused the current gloom. The notional value of derivatives is still many times the actual value of all the economic activity on the planet. The opaque “financial instruments” are supposed to reduce risk, but what they actually do is obscure it so that economists can ignore it. We have to stop deceiving ourselves. There is too much debt, and we need to deleverage it. 

    We have to think farther ahead at the same time. We have to prepare for a world of growing demand for dwindling natural resources (i.e. oil and water) at the same time that we stare a destabilized climate. These financial issues are going to be the least of our worries in short order, but we can even get it together enough to address them.

    • Still Here

      Notional value tells you nothing about net exposure.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Like wind-power, and solar-power, instead of fouling , and pumping water way below the water-table, to frack for gas?

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 2 E(water table bleat)

  • aj

    “And even that tiny growth rate is an exaggeration, because it is deflated with a measure of inflation that understates inflation. The US government’s measure of inflation no longer measures a constant standard of living.  Instead, the government’s inflation measure relies on substitution of cheaper goods for those that rise in price. In other words, the government holds the measure of inflation down by measuring a declining standard of living. This permits our rulers to divert cost-of-living-adjustments that should be paid to Social Security recipients to wars of aggression, police state, and banker bailouts.

    Real average weekly earnings (deflated by the government’s CPI-W) have never recovered their 1973 peak.”

    -Paul Craig Roberts

  • Yar

    The transistor revolutionized the economy, another new innovation that is as useful could do the same.  Think what a safe and concentrated hydrogen storage innovation would to do for our economy.  Electricity could be generated at point of use, and used for transportation.  We need a new discovery as revolutionary as the transistor.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Ovshinski claimed a porus, phase-change material that stores Hydrogen, 3 or 4 years ago!
         They make Solar collectors, by the mile, that you can drill holes through, and still produce electricity, according to their claims!

  • Observer

    Please, Bernanke, Paulson, Summers, Rubin, Geithner, save us from Doom!!!

    Cook up something new and shiny to save us!

    Until we are ready to face the music (like Ron Paul has been explaining in every post-primary speech, whether or not the networks ignore his substance after begrudgingly airing them), we sheep will deserve the bankruptcy and financial shenanigans that we are handed by the status quo.

    • Anonymous

      Why does On Point ignore Ron Paul?  10/10 of Dave’s aliases agree that Ron Paul is the solution to everything. 

      • Observer

        So glad that you guys thing Obama/Romney have it all taken care of.

        Your defense of the systemic status quo is depressing.

        • Anonymous

          Oh please, enough of the Ron Paul ads.

          • Observer

            The lack of substance you guys display is almost stunning. You never reply to the systemic/mechanistic problems with our political/economic system, and instead seem to have some vague hope that a more socialistic approach or Philosopher King savior (Obama) will make it all better.

            You are apologists for the Washington/Wall St. cabal whether you understand it or not, and regardless of whether Ron Paul is the particular alternative or not.

            You have never shown an understanding of the liberty/unsound money argument, as it pertains to our banking and power elite crisis, from which you could argue a different set of solutions.

            Head in the sand and more of the same is not going to save us.

          • nj

            Wind him up, watch him go…

          • Observer

            It’s more fun than just ticking the “D” box every few years.

          • Modavations

            Put “D” next to Stalin,or Pol Pot and they’d get his vote

          • nj

            Moda-troll makes another intellectual point.

          • nj

            You’re as dense as the asphalt on our street on a cold, winter morning.

            Either you don’t  read or you don’t  understand people’s substantive issues with your robotic repetition of “liberty” agenda catch phrases, and you keep repeating the same unfounded assumptions, and inaccurate accusations of other people’s beliefs and affiliations.

          • Modavations

            Welcome to NPR.The home of the Politboro.Orwell would be sick

        • Anonymous

          I’m not defending the status quo but fantasy solutions are going to solve anything.

          • Anonymous

            Waste of time, I’m thinking this chap is kind of zealous for Paul and his absurd ideas based on a world that never existed. 

          • Anonymous

            I’m not trying to convince him, I’m just making sure that the Ron Paul propaganda (under various user names) isn’t put out there without criticism.

          • Observer

            OK John, could you be sure to keep up with the Obama and Romney and mainstream economist propaganda as we go forward?

            Appreciate you looking out for us.

          • Anonymous

            Obama is the lesser of two evils.  Ron Paul’s gold standard fairytale isn’t going to solve any problems. 

          • Observer

            Yes, that’s the easy part John. What’s going to solve the problems?

          • Anonymous

            Not Ron Paul, that’s for sure.

          • Observer

            How are you going to make money sound? Or don’t you care/understand?

          • Yar

            Tie the minimum wage to the cost of energy!

          • Anonymous

            Me too. They keep going on about the gold standard and don’t seem to see the bad side of that. Which is moot because there is not enough gold to back up our economy.
            If you unpack the gold standard idea you see where the real problems are. Such as when banks do not have the gold reserves to back up deposits and there is a run on the banks. This is what happened in the Great Depression, we only had enough gold in reserve to cover 40% of the Federal Reserve Notes. I know Paul wants do do away with the Fed, but that does not change to fact that there is not enough gold to back up our economy.

          • Observer

            Let’s see. In our current political race, there is only one candidate between the 2 parties who is willing to speak truth to power regarding our Banking system and related swindles, and the Military adventurism, and what the root causes are.

            Since those are our biggest threats today, how is one Zealous, for highlighting that candidate?

            Are you kidding?

        • nj

          Give it a rest, Leather Dave of a Thousand and One Handles. This crap was tiresome a couple of months ago.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, going back to the gold standard is a good idea and one that will solve our problems. To bad this is a really bad idea. One thing, there is not enough gold in world to back up the economies in the world, which is only one reason that this idea is pretty absurd.

      • Observer

        jeffe your constant dismissal of the unsustainability of our unsound monetary policy and growing debt is what is absurd.

        • Anonymous

          The gold standard the Paul wants to bring back is a fools errand. You agree with his politics so there is no debating someone who is blinded by ideology. I do not support the current crony capitalist system that is turning our nation into a plutocracy. I think in some ways we really are a plutocracy.  All nations have debt and run deficits.
          The problems are when the the balance of this in terms of GDP gets out of control. On thing I’m not hearing is the cost of health care.

  • Edward Carney

    I’ll be interested to watch the long-term effects of defaults on debts that people ceased to keep up with during the poor economy.  People have still been encouraged to take out student loan debt.  Unless recovery is meteoric, a lot of outstanding investments will still fail to pay off.

  • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

    I wrote a blog post three years ago called “Economics Isn’t Physics” about three years ago, and think most of what I wrote then still is applicable today:  http://nolongerslowblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/economics-isnt-physics-what-politicians.html

  • Michiganjf

    Tom,

    Adam Davidson and The Planet Money Team consistently provide the most lucid and pertinent reporting on the economy available.

    Thank you for having him on the show, and please give us more from Planet Money in the future!

    I encourage everyone to tune into Planet Money regularly, and certainly don’t miss the segments they’ve produced for This American Life… they offer invaluable insights into the problems our economy now faces, as well as the primary causes that resulted in the downturn.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      I agree. Their piece “The Giant Pool of Money” remains one of the best pieces on the financial meltdown done to this day. By the way, you might want to watch the movie Margin Call for another excellent take on it.

  • Observer

    2004.

    What “fringe” logic this is:

    http://mises.org/daily/1533

    How stupid do you think we are (I guess enough of us were, to ignore it)?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     And your proposals are?  Please don’t link to others; tell us what you think.

  • Observer

    Why when your guests talk about kicking the can and the reality of our doom, its wise and ok, but when Ron Paul does it, based on clear mechanistic and systemic understanding/logic, we dismiss it?

    We are so lame in our throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    • Anonymous

      They haven’t proposed going back on the gold standard.

      • Observer

        What have they proposed to stop the unsound money madness?

        That’s the whole point?

        Untethered money printing is a flawed idea! Do you not agree with that?  

        Come up with a Gold alternative, I don’t care, but you guys can’t keep ignoring the  unsound money/debt/future inflation problem without some explanation?

        Crossed fingers? Brilliant.

  • Glenn Koenig

    Let’s not limit this discussion to the human economy.  Consumer confidence is not the last word.  We are a part of nature.  Growing world population and limited planetary resources are a major factor here.  See “The Great Disruption” book for example.  More shopping will not save us as resources become more and more depleted and our power to damage life and water and air on this planet comes back to bite us.  So-called ‘growth’ of the past, which fueled ‘recoveries’ will work no more.  It doesn’t matter what kind of shell games are played with money, either by banks, governments, or others.

    • notafeminista

      “If we’re going to improve the environment, the first thing we should do is duck the government. The second thing we should do is quit being moral. Screw the rights of nature. Nature will have rights as soon as it get duties. The minute we see birds, trees, bugs, and squirrels picking up litter, giving money to charity, and keeping an eye on our kids at the park, we’ll let them vote.” — P.J. O’Rourke

      • Terry Tree Tree

        O’Rourke’s ironic humor?

      • TFRX

        From another privileged has-been who’s long outwritten his talent.

        • notafeminista

          Privileged in what way exactly?  Be specific in your response.

  • Observer

    Crony Capitalism Failed.

    Bailout Capitalism Failed.

    Unsound Monetary Capitalism Failed.

    • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

      absolutely right

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     And your answer to this is what?

  • Still Here

    I applaud On Point for getting two economists on when talking about the economy.  How come you couldn’t do the same when talking about the mortgage-backed bond market?  Then we had to suffer through journalists and academics.

  • Yar

    It takes a heap of hype to promote a company like Facebook.
    It is a cut flower, all of this is entertainment.  Until it facilitate revolution.
    That is a different kind of recovery than what your guests are calling for. 

  • Rick in Worcester

    Rather than listening to what economists say is wrong or right about the economy, let’s talk about what the economy says is wrong with economists and the discipline of economics. The discipline needs the equivalent of a Copernican-esque scientific revolution, yet there are still 3 or more economic advisors for every one science advisor. There’s your problem.

    • nj

      A line from an Arthur C. Clarke lecture i attended years ago, “The place where I differ from the economists is that I admit I know nothing about economics.”

      • Rick in Worcester

        And yet we allocate so much time and deference to blowhards like the two guests on today’s show…

        • nj

          The show was totally disappointing. These “economists” are like fish who aren’t capable of being aware of the water they swim in.

  • Mjbjr

    So we are all going to need to write app’s & bury our noses in smart phones & tablets?  Sounds like a wonderful life

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Those of us that cannot land a ‘historian’ job, that pays $1.6 MILLION?

  • Terry Tree Tree

    92 of every 100 people are working?  WHERE? 
      MANY people are NOT counted!

    • Yar

      I thought it is closer to about 60 out of 100 working age.  The lowest in modern history.  He is simply converting the unemployment rate into a ratio.  A liars ploy.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        That’s what I wanted to expose! 
          I see the economy slowly improving, but don’t advocate telling obvious lies, to ‘prove’ it!

  • aj

    Fukuyama: Obama had a big opportunity right at the middle of the crisis. That was around the time Newsweek carried the title: “We Are All Socialists Now.” Obama’s team could have nationalized the banks and then sold them off piecemeal. But their whole view of what is possible and desirable is still very much shaped by the needs of these big banks.
    SPIEGEL: In other words, Obama and his influential advisors, like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, are themselves part of the “1 percent” that the Occupy Wall Street movement rails against.
    Fukuyama: They are obviously part of the 1 percent. They socialize with these Wall Street gurus. Goldman Sachs boss Lloyd Blankfein met with Geithner many times during the crisis. Such close contact clearly influences the world view of the  (Obama) White House.

    -Francis Fukuyama(former neo-con) interviewed by Der Spiegel

  • Michiganjf

    Brian Wesbury just made the case for Obama’s re-election!

  • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

    Brian Wesbury made a point that Tom Ashbrook failed to call him on. Wesbury talked about full airplanes.  The reason there are full airplanes is because there are many FEWER PLANES in the air now than a few years ago.  I haven’t seen an less-than-full plane go anywhere in years.

  • Observer

    Are we listening Larry Summers again?

  • Observer

    You guys should just cut to the chase and vote Summers/Paulson 2012

  • VirginiaRick

    Everytime the new unemployment numbers come out, it’s always with a caveat that the percentage could be somewhat skewed due to those who have quit looking for work.  If there’s no way to measure that part of the equation, how can we really know what the true unemployment rate is?

    • Still Here

      look up u-6 rate

      • TFRX

        The change in U-6 and unemployment rate pretty much track each other, don’t they?

        • Still Here

          U-6 captures those who’ve given up and those working part-time for economic reasons

          • TFRX

            Yes, and they pretty much go up and down at the same rate, don’t they?

            For example, the people in our media who couldn’t be bothered to look up what U-6 meant during the Bush years, now are concerned about it.

          • Still Here

            No because people who’ve given up aren’t included in the household survey rate.  Recent improvements in this number have come from people leaving the labor force as much as net hiring. 

            Anybody who cares has been following for the past 20 years but if you want to see it as political that’s your problem.

          • TFRX

            It’s everybody’s problem, because widespread ignorance is one offshoot of
            the media’s conservative-friendly framing we get on the economy.

            We got tons of “it’s all good” and “humming along” on the economy during the Bush years (remember: no median income increase, no balanced budgets submitted).

            Pretending it’s not “political”? Those are your blinders, not my problem

          • Still Here

            Obviously you weren’t paying attention.

          • Modavations

            It’s on the front page of the Boston Globe.

    • Mjbjr

      I’ve often wondered the same thing.  No one ever picks up that question…

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     How about answering the main question–what’s YOUR solution?

    • nj

      What question? There’s no, one question posited in the intro/lead-in.

  • Abel

    Here’s some food for thought. Vehicle miles traveled are still well below where they were before the great recession. Electricity usage is still far below what it was. Freight shipments still lower. All the real world indicators point to the fact that the broader economic statistics like GDP are lying. The recession didn’t end two and a half years ago. It’s still going. Don’t let the stock market and the bankers fool you.

    • Still Here

      More efficient logistics, greater conservation, manufacturing moving closer to consumption … productivity has continued to rise.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        EXCELLENT IDEAS!!

        • Still Here

          Not ideas, realities.

  • Yar

    The soup kitchens and the food bank are full of hungry people as well.  It is hard to see the economy from 30,000 feet.  Airplanes are poor platform to measure the economy. 

    • TFRX

      You’ve got a run of good turns of phrase today, with this and “Facebook is a cut flower”.

  • Roy

    We are carrying the burdens and costs of the most intrusive and comprehensive regulations (and bureaucracy) in the history of the world. Can we afford to keep on? Is it still possible to make something new, sell it for a profit and keep some of the proceeds?  How much of the price of everything is just gobbled up – not in taxes, but in compliance? Is anyone even asking the question ?

    • TFRX

      Puhleeze.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The COSTS of the pollution, and health dangers figured into the price of the product?
          I’m not argueing that there are no un-necessary regulations. 
          Polluters want less ‘regulation’, so they can pollute more, so they can get richer, while killing and harming the people, and the environment~!

      • Modavations

        Will invent an environmental Bleat another day

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Roy.  Whew!  What is burdensome? I want to give credit to your contentions but they fly n the face of what’s happened in the last 15 years. 

      Okay.  What “comprehensive regulations” are getting in the way of good and honest business?  Please name a few.  

      If we do away with regulation we get unscrupulous capitalism.  With no sensible rules encouraging the conduct of responsible business the mess left behind is paid by everyone else: pollution, failed banks, fraud and abuse. Surely you see this. 

      So, what and where is the problem?   Or do you mean there’s a perpetual balance needing to be struck between a over-bearing/outdated regulation and common sense rules that protect the common good?

      Have you actually tried to start a business and couldn’t because your efforts were thwarted by intrusive regulation? Or, are you just talking?   

  • Glenn Koenig

    We’re not going to remain one country.  That’s clear.  People want more diversity, more individualized choices and options from everything from philosophy, religion, culture, … every aspect of life.  The president of the US will end up a figurehead and Congress will take a back seat to other forces (it already has).

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Thoughtful comment.  What is to be done when we have a system the forces compromise and no one comes to the party?   

      What’s worrisome is the door is then left open for a demagogue. 

      Too much dysfunction too much discord leaves many to yearn for a savior who’ll strip needed discourse of all ambiguity to replace it with simplistic shibboleths.

      I don’t think we can rest easy when the center wanders about with no coherence or voice.

  • Observer

    Let’s see. In our current political race, there is only one candidate between the 2 parties who is willing to speak truth to power regarding our Banking system and related swindles, and the Military adventurism, and what the root causes/enablers are.

    Since those are our biggest threats today, how is one Zealous, for highlighting that candidate?

    Are you kidding?
    This tweedle-dum, tweedle-dee echo chamber would make Ralph Nader cry.

  • Heidi Willis

    Our economic structure is predicated on, and assumes a livable environment, and endless natural resources.  We are now in a changing climate, and resources which are running out.  Last summer I heard one of your programs around a book, The Great Disruption and the End of Shopping….I read the book….this is the Great Disruption.   Our economic structure needs to mimic nature, and move to a Steady State economy, if we hope to go on as a species.   Capitalistic structures have no interest in the health of the environment, of the wider community, or of the future.   

    Heidi Willis
    Salisbury, Veront

    • Yar

      Our economic structure needs to mimic nature,It will, the earth doesn’t care if it is as dry as Mars or as hot as Venus. 
      We may care, but we will be long gone before it gets to that point.
      We are yeast.  We grow until we are out of resources.
      There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

      • aj

        :(

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.
        The other, to total extinction.
        Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.

        Woody Allen

    • Four Elements

      Finally! Someone who sees the elephant in the room!

      The current system was and is designed to exploit a resource-rich environment, and its purpose is to transfer wealth to the top of the pyramid. Indeed, it has been doing this efficiently for decades. So long as resources were plentiful, many, if not all, boats were lifted by the rising economic tide. Formed in an environment of abundance, however, it requires abundance to persist. This privatized, corporate driven economy is really a return to feudalism, albeit well﷓disguised as a free system. Few own anything outright; most are paying down mortgages or loans. The vast majority of us are tenant farmers, dwellers and drivers, indentured in our financed lands, houses and cars. From the standpoint of the average person, “private” property is an illusion. In place of a single Lord of the manor, we have instead a class of baronial corporations. They are legal persons, but are they moral persons? Meanwhile, a great deal of money is being made by the private sector from wars, from finance, from energy and from the current health care system. Is it any wonder that there is such stubborn resistance to change? Or that it is so difficult to modify a political system configured to preserve and protect this economic system, a government that is, in the words of Karl Marx, written a century ago, “…but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.”In nature, organisms like trees, animals and humans grow to an optimum size based upon the instructions encoded in their DNA interacting with the surrounding ecology. Even ponds and lakes seem to stabilize at a balance between inflow and outflow. Nature and nurture combine to achieve a sustainable condition. When an organism, or a part of that organism, embarks upon unending growth for its survival, we call it cancerous. (Individual humans simply become obese.) It would follow, then, that the current growth-based ideology, and indeed the human race itself, is a vast malignant tumor, devouring its environment and outbreeding its resources. Endlessly expanding consumption at one end becomes appalling waste at the other. Perhaps there is an organic optimum for the size of this economy, and for the social and political units that rest upon it. Perhaps we are witnessing a relentless, natural process whereby the economy, no longer able to grow its way out of its troubles, is instead contracting its way out of them.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Heidi. A Catch 22  of the highest order.  

    • notafeminista

      Steady state in nature results in stagnant water.  Nature is … unpredictable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wes-Nickerson/100001436729213 Wes Nickerson

    If you want to end these endless cycles of boom and bust and have an economic recovery that lasts for the long term, then support the Green New Deal, which would truly transition to a green clean energy economy to create prosperity for everyone. The Green New Deal is a program proposed by the New Economics Foundation and has been embraced by the Green Party of the United States.

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

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Nick.  Agreed. But how long and what degree of disaster has to befall us before we turn in this direction?  

    • notafeminista

      Solyndra,Fisker, Chevy Volt.  Thanks I’ll pass on the Green New Deal thank you very much.

  • Observer

    Please explain how most of you board posters are not Rubin/Summers/Paulson/Geithner/Fannie-Freddie/Wall St. apologists?

    Because as you follow the money, the policies that led to our crisis and debt, you will find they all, via both parties and our current monetary system, are at the root of our problems.

    Not expecting much substance.

    • Anonymous

      Many of us have been complaining from day one of the Obama administration that he has been listening to Geithner et al instead of Krugman, Reich, Stiglitz, and Warren. 

      • Observer

        ok, keep going…….

        • Observer

          You need to defend Krugman, instead of just putting him up as the answer:

          “In contrast, here are 9 (pre-collapse) articles from Paul Krugman, calling for ever lower interest rates, as well as explicitly advocating for a housing bubble:”

          http://www.informationliberation.com/?id=32412

    • Anonymous

      Then why bother asking?

      Current monetary system? When I hear this I see a gold standard cheer leader. You want substance well there is not enough gold to back up our economy. Lets say we move to whatever your monetary system is, (by the way talk of lack of substance, where’s yours?) if it’s the gold standard and doing away with the fed do you have any idea what will happen? Do have any plans for the millions or should I say tens of millions of people who could be destitute within weeks due this idea? Hows that for substance.

      • Observer

        “substance” means, if you don’t like gold, how do you propose holding our monetary/financial system/politicians accountable to reality?

        • Anonymous

          OK, if you tie the monetary/financial system to gold and there is not enough to back up the system who do you control bad downturns? If you look back in history when we had a gold standard we had a lot more downturns that were far worse. The one we have now is real bad, but if we had a gold standard, boy would be in trouble.
          The bottom line is there is not enough gold to back up our system.

          • Observer

            so you have again discounted gold, but again, have no solution.

            We can’t do that anymore.

          • Anonymous

            On an equally realistic note, what value is your gold standard after we make alchemy work?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            A ‘solution’ to the unworkable ‘Gold Standard’, should come from the proponents of the unworkable ‘Gold Standard?

          • Observer

            It’s unsound money that is the problem.

          • Modavations

            Bleat # 2

        • http://abellia.myopenid.com/ Andrew

          Forget money.  In any given time, we get to consume what we produce — no more, no less.  That’s the only accounting that matters.  When we consume finite resources (oil, for example), we don’t get to use them later, and we may produce things that people don’t want (waste), but it really has nothing to do with money.

          Money is our accounting of control of real resources — that’s all.  Whether we use dollars, gold or beanie babies doesn’t really matter.  It’s the distribution of money that matters in the end, not the quantity — though people may get hurt by fast quantity changes as prices adjust faster than income.

  • TFRX

    Our host says “Hogwash”. Think of what it takes for Tom to do this.

    • Observer

      It’s easy to impress knee-jerk lefty simpletons.  The guest made a fine and rational reply.

      • TFRX

        Tom Ashbrook, a “lefty simpleton”?

        Keep classing the place up, Dave.

         

        • Observer

          Not at all. Tom gave the challenge, the argument people would make. That’s his job and he does it well.

          I’m talking about those who like to take the simple “blame free market capitalism” charge and claim victory.

          Here’s another chance to  respond to substance:

          Recent history of US Economics: 
          1. Rampant fraud and reckless mismanagement in the financial sector, 
          2. Bailouts of the worst actors in the financial sector, 
          3. Overwhelming debt and liability imposed on taxpayers, 
          4. Reckless hair-of-the-dog monetary policy aimed at recapitalizing insolvent banks, 
          5. Promotion of business leaders and policy-makers who are chronically compromised, 
          6. Conglomeration of Systemically Dangerous Institutions into a more empowered menace.

          Just to translate if you don’t understand, we have NOT been operating under free-market capitalism.

          http://www.capitalismwithoutfailure.com/

          Of course who knows what you guys are arguing for….

      • Anonymous

        Well, there you go. People on the left are simpletons and you are not. 

      • Anonymous

        Sure he did, Observer. And the current recession occurred as a result of 7 1/2 years of GW Bush’s runaway campaign of regulation and tax hikes. 

    • Still Here

      Tom wears his narrow belief system on his sleave and can’t stand to hear contradictory facts that he can’t refute.

      • Modavations

        Tom said the Tea Party was the cause of Gabby’s attempted assassination.Even though people kept calling and saying he was wrong,he persisted.Tom A.she got drilled by a leftist hippy.The Kennedy’s were also offed by Leftist loons

  • bee

    These guys are economic professionals??? Cheerleaders I suggest.  What about the United Stated debt!

  • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

    Steve Hanke – not dealing with facts in Europe.  True, Spain and Greece are doing poorly, but Germany and Scandinavia are doing pretty well.

    • Still Here

      But given how much Germany exports to peripheral Europe how long with that continue?

      • http://www.dpsinfo.com LaurieMann

        Germany is worried about rescuing Greece and Spain.  OTOH, Germany was rescued by other countries (especially America) after WWII.  Germany has a strong manufacturing sector, and, wisely, they didn’t off-shore their jobs during the last 20 years.  

  • Inish O’Doherty

    Don’t let your guest rewrite history and pedal the false belief that is
    now being pushed by some pro-finanical industry commentators. It was NOT
    over regulation of the financial industry that was in some way
    responsible for the crash. It’s just not true.
     

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Agreed. How in world could over-regulation have been responsible for liar loans and triple A ratings on junk? What a crock!  

      If the argument is that FMay & FMac, at the urging of congress, fueled the housing boom, yes.  But this is only one factor among many.

      What failed was a notion of capitalism that says you pay for your sins. A truth that only has meaning when the piper is actually paid. And on this score folks, we have a long way to go.

      • Observer

        Without the Fed bubble, they wouldn’t have had the fuel to play there stupid games, and if they did, the problem would have been orders of magnitude smaller.

        Follow the money.

        • NrthOfTheBorder

          So, Fed bubble drove all the high-paid help on Wall Street into making all those bad loans and burying the truth about the ensuing investments hocked as Triple A?

  • BHA in Vermont

    We don’t need to redistribute the wealth, we need to stop the redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the rich.

    If you make $1M a year, you SHOULD pay a higher tax rate than someone who makes less. If you make $10M, you should pay a higher rate than the poor person who makes only $1M.

    • Still Here

      50% of wage earners pay nothing in Federal income tax, the other 50% pay an infinite rate more.

      • Anonymous

        No they don’t. This kind of idea is a so off base and you know what I for one am sick of hearing it.
        I’m paying taxes and you know what I’m not in the high income bracket. Everyone I know is paying taxes, Fed and state, you’re talking out of your behind.

        • Still Here

          Go to irs.gov and see the facts for yourself.  I can’t help the lazy like yourself, only offset the taxes you don’t pay.

          • TFRX

            All those Lucky Duckies are nothing but lazy!

            I’m glad you have that sorted out for us. I was starting to worry that they were just good people down on their luck, and their rich daddies couldn’t put them on third base after they got picked off. Again.

        • Ray in VT

          There’s the issue of federal taxes paid, and then there’s the issue of total taxes paid.  David Kay Johnston was on NPR the other day saying that when one figures in all of the various federal, state, local, property, gas and sales taxes that individuals pay, something like in 49 out of the 50 lower income earners ending up paying a larger percentage in taxes than higher end earners.  Some lower end wage earners do pretty well under the federal tax system, but many end up bearing a heavier burden under more regressive taxes.

          Also, given all of the tax loopholes that exist in the system, a CPA that I know told me that as long as you don’t get a W-2, then he can get you out of paying most federal taxes no matter how much you earn.

          • TFRX

            David Kay Johnston! Now that’s someone this hour could have used!

          • Ray in VT

            I really enjoyed Free Lunch when I read it several years back.

        • NrthOfTheBorder

          Jeff. So, payroll taxes and MC deductions are part of your argument or not?  Sorry, I’m having trouble understanding your point.

          • Modavations

            I’ll trade you 50 Obamas for one Martin

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda’s claiming that he owns 50, or more Obamas?  Isn’t that illegal?

          • Anonymous

            Yes they are. I also pay federal income taxes on what I earn, which is called payroll taxes. I don’t receive a lot of deductions myself. My point is the argument that 50% of the working population do not pay income taxes is nothing but a bastardization of the way we pay taxes in this country. 

            My point is I’m paying taxes, get it. 

      • aj

        they pay medicaid and social security tax on 100% of their income, Romney didn’t pay acent. 

        Furthermore, those taxes go into the general fund instead of separate account.  This subsidizes the rest of the budget allowing drastic tax cuts for the 1% and at the same time allowing Uncle Sam to continue Empire, Police State, and bailouts.

        Plus giving the bottom 50% no income tax is republican policy and now they turn around and use it as a weapon to excuse Mitt Romney paying 14% rate.

        The reality is anything but progressive.

      • TFRX

        Whatever sense you could make you’ve long since given up on.

        There’s no shame in admitting that now you’re just throwing darts at your Fox Bidness Network board of talking points.

    • aj

      Top rate should be 70% like when Carter was prez, that will bring executve salaries back to earth and sure up federal budget.

      • Still Here

        Salaries will go even higher so the after-tax impact is null.

        • aj

          Not if shareholders get a vote on salary, and/or you require a plurality of workers on the board of direcrors.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Why?

          • Still Here

            Why not?

    • notafeminista

      Why?

      • Ray in VT

        Why should they not?  It’s a position/opinion.  Here’s mine:  those who have more greatly benefited from the the conditions provided by our society have an obligation to contribute more back to it.

        Since the inception of the federal income tax higher end earners have pretty much always been required to pay more than lower income earners.  For many years it was only higher earners that paid the income tax at all.  Mind you that was way back in the 1910s and 1920s.  I’m not sure when the tax brackets expanded to include more income brackets, and I don’t feel like looking it up.

        • notafeminista

          Sure it’s an opinion ..it seems not unreasonable to consider that there is some sort of reasoning behind it other than, “because it’s always been that way.”    Otherwise it makes one look we make rich people pay more simply because they can.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m not a fan of continuing to do things the same way just because that’s the way that we always have.  I’m also not a fan of change for the sake of change.  So I guess that my response would be that, yes, they can afford to pay at higher rates, and if they have done so in this country for the past 100ish years, then what has changed to warrant them paying at lower rates now?  As a guy who comes from a farming family, I have a hard time feeling sorry for the average big league ball player who makes $1.5 million plus per year to play a game.  They, like some of the big executives, bankers or entertainers are outliers, but that’s who I often think of when I hear that the top income earners need a tax cut.

          • notafeminista

            Then you argument is..in fact, they should pay more because they can.  How is that MORE fair that what currently exists?

          • Ray in VT

            Are you arguing that the current system is fair?  In some ways it is, and in some ways it isn’t.  My position, in general, yes, is that the wealthier should pay at higher rates because they are more able to do so.

          • notafeminista

            You didn’t answer the question.  We never ever get equality of results.  Ever.  Once again, I point to Dr Quinones as a prime example, provided to me right here on this very board.

          • Modavations

            Raymundo,I warned you not to mess with her.She’s a Valkyrie

        • notafeminista

          More greatly benefited how exactly?  Consumption of government services?

          • Ray in VT

            From the stability that has existed in our country over a long period of time, from our educational system, from our public transportation system that allows goods to get to market, etc.

          • notafeminista

            Everyone benefits from those.  As has been pointed out so so many times, we all benefit from roads, police and fire services, public education and so on.  So we’re back to ..benefited how exactly.

          • Ray in VT

             We all benefit, although not necessarily equally.  Some take greater advantages of the opportunities that our society affords.  Some have greater access, some lesser.  Some have more drive, some have less.  Sometimes people derive greater benefits through a natural or developed skill, an invention or, sometimes, just plain old good fortune.

      • http://abellia.myopenid.com/ Andrew

        Because one of the primary purposes of taxation is to redistribute wealth.  Think about what happens toward the end of a game of monopoly when one person has all the money…not much fun for anyone.  Even for the rich guy the game is over and all he can do is sit around and gloat.

        • notafeminista

          So take his money because you can. Very sound reasoning.

          • http://abellia.myopenid.com/ Andrew

            Do you want to play the game or do you want someone to get a crown?

          • notafeminista

            Are you really advocating taking someone else’s money because he has more than you? 

          • TFRX

            Your head really is stuck down (or up) somewhere that’s pretty damn information-free, isn’t it?

          • notafeminista

            Okay, tell me that a sitting President didn’t say “At some point you’ve made enough money.”

            Maybe he was kidding.

        • Modavations

          And I thought it was to fund the army,build roads,etc,.Silly me

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Because they USE more, or BENEFIT more, from it!
           $MILLIONAIRES have more money, to buy more vehicles, and use the roads more than the poor! 

        • Modavations

          Bleat # 2

        • notafeminista

          I thought the millionaires used private jets.  I do so wish you people would get your envies straight.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Airports are built with tax money and public funds, in addition to roads etc.. !

      • Anonymous

        Because that way works and your way doesn’t.  Seems pretty simple. 

        • notafeminista

          We’ve never tried “my way”. 

          • Anonymous

            Au contraire.  We’ve been trying it for about 30 years and it has resulted in unprecedented corruption, cronyism and inequality. 

          • notafeminista

            No we haven’t.  Never has a flat tax been implemented.  We’ve always had a progressive tax.  But if you want to talk about greed and inequality why not start with the combination of deductions for having children along with the combination of the Earned Income Tax Credit?  Talk about double dipping.  How about discussing property taxes paid to fund local school districts by people who don’t have children?  How about a property tax credit for people who elect to home school? 
            Your discussion of corruption and inequality is, to put it politely, bullflop.

          • TFRX

            You should have put up more of a fuss when Shrub had 8 years, a press corps scared of being called “traitors” for saying “boo” to him, and plenty of propaganda press drumbeating the rest of us as treasonous for daring to be the opposition.

            Yet during that time median income went nowhere, and the “fiscally responsible” conservatives didn’t get a single balanced budget submitted during a 5-year economic expansion.

            You had your shot.

          • notafeminista

            It would have been nice if there was a shot to begin with.    Read some Mises and some Friedman.  Stop carrying on about the noble poor and adopt a flat tax.  Start being intellectually honest just one time.

  • Anonymous

    This current economic depression is due to the complete systemic failure of the FIRE economy.  The FIRE economy has supplanted the real economy. The FIRE economy, decoupled from the a real economy has perverted expectations and is nothing more than a massive scam. The FIRE economy produced nothing except inflated prices and debt.

    The final straw of this scam is when the financial sector transferred untold trillions of debt to the governments in the form of massive bailouts.  

    • Terry Tree Tree

      FIRE economy?

      • Anonymous

        F inance
        I nsurance
        R eal E state

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Ok.  Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    “Hogwash!” Thank you, Tom. Calling it as it is.

    Redefine the word: capitalism? The Department of Truth will be in touch.

  • Tina

    The social welfare state of Denmark has extremely happy citizens!!!  Almost every year they are on the list of happiest people in the world!!!  Bhutan is also on that list, and since they got national wealth from hydroelectric power, they, too, are on the top of the happiest people list.  Their Buddhism helps them, but they were not as happy before their Buddhism was supported by the h/e wealth which the government decided to share amongst all its citizens while taking their environment into account, also!!!  

    Tom:  THANK YOU for standing up to the free trade capitalists when they speak their prevarications, especially about regulation and about the inequitable distribution of wealth today!  Thank you!

    • Observer

      Wow.  3-4 years later and we are still at square one. Blaming “free trade capitalists” for a problem that was caused by a corrupted, mismanaged marketplace.

      This tenacious partisanship and economic ignorance is going to sink the country.

      Start here at least, we need to build a slightly more nuanced and sophisticated common ground.

      http://www.capitalismwithoutfailure.com/

      “Recent history of US Economics: 
      1. Rampant fraud and reckless mismanagement in the financial sector, 
      2. Bailouts of the worst actors in the financial sector, 
      3. Overwhelming debt and liability imposed on taxpayers, 
      4. Reckless hair-of-the-dog monetary policy aimed at recapitalizing insolvent banks, 
      5. Promotion of business leaders and policy-makers who are chronically compromised, 
      6. Conglomeration of Systemically Dangerous Institutions into a more empowered menace.”

  • Yar

    Inflation needs to go up.  holding inflation low is holding wages low and housing prices down.  It is counter productive,  all deficit spending is inflationary.  We are telling a big lie, the damage is already done.  The way out is to tie wages to a real value, like Brazil did to get out of their deficit and put money to work.  Inflation is money with a use by date on it.
    Low inflation protect old money!

  • Four Elements

    The politicians, scholars and economists who discuss our dilemma are like the blind men and the elephant: each proposal seems rational within its limited frame of reference, but the elephant is still in the room, hiding in plain sight ― the elephant of decline. Every policy has counterproductive side effects, like drugs given to a terminal patient. Decline proceeds ineluctably. What worked before works no longer. Every measure results in economic contraction, and contraction is the new “normal”. For example, without economic growth, the deficit will rise due to falling tax revenues, further impeding growth; but it will also rise with Keynesian deficit spending to stimulate growth. And does anyone truly believe the national debt will ever be repaid? This is a system that is too big to succeed and that, locked into its profit motive, free-market capitalist theology, cannot fix itself. Its founding fundamentals are disintegrating. The Chinese model “seems” to work better for large economies, which if true has interesting implications for U.S. policy makers.

     As the wealth tide recedes, this vast, clumsy economy will settle wearily and run aground ― too heavy, complex and inert to launch again. We are not in cyclic recession, we are in permanent correction. This will be a multi-dip recession, an L-shaped graph tracing a bumpy downward slope as far as the eye can see, while Congress, the executive branch, the Federal Reserve and famous economists continue to puzzle, stumble and flounder. The only outcome may be that the country will simply go out of business. A complete overhaul in thinking is required, one that sees economic contraction as the cure, not the disease, and is willing to test any economic modality, including communism and socialism, on a case-by-case basis. Privatization of critical sectors of the economy, particularly energy and finance, has led to a steady transfer of wealth from the many to the few. In this age of growing wealth inequality, the selfish are supported by the social stability that the stupid make possible. The private good now restricts the public good. Gains are privatized while losses are socialized. The rational solution is that smaller is better, less is more and that less for each means more for all. But will facts be faced? And will sacrifice be shared?

  • Yar

    A full hour of BS by people who have stakes in keeping the game rigged against the average Joe!

  • Mephisto808

    “There’s a myth in the USA that just won’t go away. It’s this idea that a household balance sheet is somehow comparable to that of the federal government’s. 

    The problem is, the analogy between a sovereign government’s balance sheet and a household’s balance sheet is never accurate. 

    The reason this analogy always fails is due to the difference between being a currency ISSUER and a currency USER.”The U.S. issues it’s own currency. Greece does not.

    http://pragcap.com/the-most-destructive-monetary-myth-in-the-usa

    • Observer

      Is that your answer?  With a straight face?

      We’ll just print more!

      Who is hurt most by inflation?

      • http://abellia.myopenid.com/ Andrew

        Inflation could be a concern, but you’re assuming a problem that can’t be stopped.  One can inject money and see what happens.  If you inject too much, you can tax it away.  You have a lot more control than letting banks pretty-much totally control the money supply, which is what happens now.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Couldn’t agree more Mephist. Unfortunately your point requires making precise distinctions – unfortunately, lost on most.

  • Quadraticus

    Nice way for you to end the show, Tom: cutting to the interminable fundraisers as you’re getting pwn3d by the guy wondering who’s pulling the levers in our system of not-capaitalism. More people need to be asking these questions.

  • Adks12020

    I love how this guy says he represents “the investor” and since they are doing well the economy is all rosy.  Does he not realize that a huge portion of the American population can’t afford to invest anything?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      And that a LOT of ‘investors’ got ripped off, and have lost homes, pensions, pay checks, retirement, jobs, and the other things that would make the economy rosier?

      • Modavations

        Bleat # 2

    • Still Here

      If you have a pension, 401k, IRA, 529, Roth … guess what, you’re an investor.  If you work for a company that’s public and has stock or debt; guess what, investors matter….

      • Anonymous

        You are correct.  Al of those people you refer to are “investors”.  Unfortunately, our securities market is the province of “traders”, not investors.  To the contrary, the traders use the money of the investors to enrich themselves without regard to the plight of the investors. 

        • Still Here

          So wrong, it’s hard to know where to begin.  How do traders use investors money; for example, my grandmother owns 100 shares of General Electric and has for 50+ years.  How did traders get her money?

  • Anonymous

    Aslong as the Wall Street crooks are still in business, no matter how the economy recovers, it will never benefit us the 99%

    • Still Here

      The real crooks are public workers and pension funds!

      • Yar

        They spend their check, it goes back into the economy, the rich take their resources off shore, which is better for the economy? 

        • Still Here

          They get paid for work that has at best limited economic benefit.  95% of the riches wealth stays on shore according to dailybeast.com

          • Yar

            So do basket ball players, movie actors, and a bunch of corporate CEO’s!

          • Still Here

            But I’m not taxed to support their waste.

          • Anonymous

            Your taxes haven’t been used to build stadiums and tax credits for filming?

          • Still Here

            No, plus no taxes are used for tax credits

          • Anonymous

            That lost revenue is made up by someone paying more.

          • Still Here

            It’s not lost revenue if it was never anticipated in the first place.

          • Yar

            Oh, yes you are! Every product you use supports those activities.
            You might not call it a tax, but we all pay.

          • Still Here

            Wrong, none of the products I pay for support those activities.  I buy only private label sold through co-ops.

          • TFRX

            Congratulations! You made the run to “I do some incredible bit of nearly unique needle-threading, which cannot be extrapolated to more than a tiny percent of 310 million Americans, so everybody who thinks like I do is a defacto resident of Galt’s Gulch and is getting ripped off by the gummint” in record time.

          • Still Here

            Millions of people who care do this and millions more do it every year.  It’s not our fault you can’t disrupt your comfortable lifestyle to do the same.

          • TFRX

            Don’t assume anything about me; you’re just making an ass out of you and you.

          • Still Here

            Gotcha, you can make all the assinine assumptions you want but we have to be careful about taking you at your word.

          • TFRX

            How many right-wingers are you browbeating into going Galt with you? How many Tea Partiers are you kicking off their Medicare scooters? How many local co-op meetings end with a rousing “Let’s go to public buildings and convince those lazy jerks they need to give up their pensions, no matter what some contract says?”

            I’m playing the percentages, the likeliness of something happening. And you don’t have an answer for anything.

          • Still Here

            I too am playing the percentages and believe your suppositions and answers are irrational at best and far from fact-based.

          • Yar

            Your wealth to do this was created by?
            Do you have employees, invest in the market, what.  You can’t be part of the system and remain clean.
            It is like the gentleman slave holder, never mistreats his property.
            He is part of a violent system and his participation promotes and sustains the system even if he doesn’t commit the violent acts himself.
            I can’t even read what I just wrote, I am too far to the right margin on this reply.

          • Still Here

            I have little wealth and mostly rely on the barter economy which is extremely strong here in the Northeast.  Again life is about choices. 

          • Observer

            I think that’s over the top Yar. 

            Working for things is not equivalent to slavery. If you are a farmer you know that.

            Unless you mean we are slaves to entropy and scarcity, with which I agree.

            The question is how we govern ourselves in the face of scarcity/entropy and your philosophical view on freedom.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            NO taxes on co-op sales?  Your co-ops will disappear, when they are caught?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            WHAT economic benefit comes from selling bogus ‘financial instruments’, that have NEGATIVE value?
               Why do you defend these scammers?

          • Modavations

            Bleat # 2 (Greedy Rich)

      • Ray in VT

        Yeah, teachers and cops and municipal sewer workers.  They blew the whole thing up.

        • Still Here

          and they’re still blowing it up

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Still here: Please explain this one. I don’t want to defend them unions etc, but they’re beneficiaries of much richer times when governments were competing with each other to bestow benefits on their employees. 

        So, okay, adjustments are in order – but please explain what you mean by “crooks” .  

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How many executives gave themselves raises, and benefits FAR MORE than the public workers, and union workers?
           Pension funds are PAID into by the future pensioner. 
           Executives CHOSE to NOT put that money into the pension funds!

        • Modavations

          Bleat # 2(Greedy Rich)

      • Anonymous

        You got it exactly back-ass wards.  Those pension funds are in trouble due to their loss of value on account of the financial sector fraud that brought down the economy, not the other way around.  I suspect, from your “inside baseball” comments on this site, that you were and probably still are right in the middle of those shenanigans.  It’s tough admitting your responsibility for such a disastrous result, but it’s the first step in recovery.

        • Anonymous

          It’s all the fault of those teachers and sanitation workers who are getting 40k a year in pensions or less.

          The thing is people like Still here would be the first to bitch if their garbage collection stopped. Or if the police force was cut in half and firehouses were closed. 
          You can’t have it both ways. You want roads, bridges, garbage collection, police and fire departments and schools you have to pay for them somehow. These folks also pay into the funds as well, it’s not as if we the tax payers are giving them free money. By the way public workers also pay taxes and live in our communities. Is there corruption on this sector, yes. However it dwarfs what I see going on in DC and Wall street. Most public workers are decent people who put in a good days work.

          • Still Here

            my garbage collection was privatized works perfectly plus they have a recycling program; our police and fire forces were joined with the next town because we have so few fires and such little crime

            got any other stawmen?

        • Still Here

          Inside baseball, please. Just because you talk without any knowledge of what you’re talking about doesn’t mean we all do. 

  • Anonymous

    Magical thinking ignores the baby boom moving through the economy. The pursuit of bad government in the 0′s opened the door to the old scams that poisoned the meaning of AAA bond and facilitated the theft of our retirement.

  • Anonymous

    Steve Hanke, please look at what has happened to those evil european societies while they were doing all that spending. They leapfrogged us and left us behind in the quality of life they provide for their citizens. 

    And “Greece” is not “Europe.” Ireland, for instance, is not in a crisis because they “overspent.” They are in the hole they are in ENTIRELY because they stepped in and rescued a PRIVATE bank that was about to go bust. 

    • Observer

      “They leapfrogged us and left us behind in the quality of life they provide for their citizens.”

      Is this a joke?
      They are imploding.

      It’s a flash in the pan thing.

      Nice while it lasted.

      The idea that we can have everything just because we think we should is pure Utopia.

      We need systemic accountability and personal responsibility now more than ever.

      • Anonymous

        Europe’s problems, just like ours, are due to trusting a corrupt and deceitful financial sector  to manage risk, both public and private, failing to adequately oversee that sector’s activities, then bailing out its worst players and letting them keep all their ill-gotten gain while punishing those not connected enough to have been allowed to participate in the criminal activity that passes for a “free market”. 

        • Observer

          Again, then you agree we can’t blame the “free and competitive market” with a straight face.

          Who corrupted to financial sector? What fueled their corruption? Where did they get the $? What vehicles and institutions did they use to peddle it?

  • Observer

    Bill Black, Bill Moyers, Ron Paul, Charles Ferguson, Peter Schiff, etc, etc, etc. all on the same list.

    The “A-list”

    http://www.capitalismwithoutfailure.com/p/a-list.htmlWhy do some of you refuse to look at our problems from a bigger picture perspective?Is partisan politics really that rewarding?

    Why are you always dismissing and tearing down instead of incorporating and synthesizing toward a more honest assessment of things?

    Is Ron Paul or Ralph Nader the answer to everything? Of course not, but the messages and truths they speak to power are critical if we ever want reform that preserves the idea of liberty and justice for all.

    If you don’t believe in that, and want Socialism or Communism or China Authoritarian Capitalism, just say so and define it, defend it and contribute something.

    • Observer
      • Anonymous

        I view those on this list as advocating a wide variety and often conflicting points of view.   What do you see as the unifying point of view of all of those on the list? It certainly isn’t returning to the gold standard.

        • Observer

          The point of that is that broad charges of “free market capitalism” being the problem, is bogus, as the corruption, market rigging, loopholes, monetary policy, bailouts, etc is about as far from “free market” as you can get.

          So that silly notion, rehashed here by so many, so often, is a distraction that is getting in the way of trying to get back to a Rule of Law system and some Accountability.

    • Anonymous

      We want regulated capitalism with a safety net.

      • Observer

        Thats great. It’s easy to say and want.  The problem is we could have said we had/wanted that at many points over the last generation, and yet we had the biggest bubble/crash in history.

        A big part of it was the arrogant notion that folks like Summers, Paulson, Greenspan, Bernanke etc were SMART enough to micromanage our economy, and that well meaning programs like Fannie/Freddie would not be corrupted, like most bureaucracies and bail-out-backed enterprises are.

        Let alone the ongoing pandering by politicians who promise everything from immortality to world domination, all funded by printing more money and piling on debt.  Only possible via the Fed.

        These issues/failures HAVE to be addressed as we go forward, no matter how much we wish things could remain the same.

        • Anonymous

          The Great Depression was much larger than the crash we are in now.
           

          • Observer

            We aren’t done yet. Remember, Doom?

    • Anonymous

      So do you like what Bill Moyers has to say?
      What about Joseph Stiglitz? 
      I’ve been into both of these men for years now and I find what they have to say on these matters to be pretty accurate and informed.

      That said it seems to me that Ron Paul would not agree at with Joseph Stiglitz’ ideas on the economy. At least that’s what I get from reading both of them and hearing them speak.  Nader is on the opposite end of the spectrum than Paul, I just don’t get it why people see these two as allies.
      In health care alone there is a wide chasm of how the system should be fixed. Paul wants people to pay for it without any real NA system. Nadar from what I’ve read from him is an advocate for a single payer system.

      • Observer

        Just broaden your mind and be more skeptical of the status quo and we’ll get there

        • nj

          LOL!! Leather Dave telling someone else to “broaden your mind”!

      • Observer

        “Nader is on the opposite end of the spectrum than Paul, I just don’t get it why people see these two as allies.”

        Have you still not responded to this? From the horse’s mouth!

        Please do better than just throwing Nader under the bus like NJ/TFRX.

        “Libertarians like Ron Paul are on our side on civil liberties. They’re on our side against the military-industrial complex. They’re on our side against Wall Street. They’re on our side for investor rights. That’s a foundational convergence,” he exhorts. “It’s not just itty-bitty stuff.” 

        http://reason.com/blog/2011/09/28/ralph-nader-hearts-ron-paul-ha

        • Anonymous

          I know about Nadar’s comments about Paul and civil liberties. It’s on economics that they have some huge differences and health care is one of them.

          Paul is not on my side. I’m not or never will be a Libertarian. You can be for civil liberties without being one.

          How do you have civil liberties if you have no regulations in place for corporations? Something Paul is for, no regulations at all on anything. He wants to do away with the EPA, the FDA, the FED, and a just about every government entity. I doubt that Nadar is for that.

          • Observer

            Jeffe I’m sorry you refuse to look into Paul’s positions, the liberty positions, the Rule of Law concept, the ideas of Constitutional protection of our liberties against harm from other, contract law etc.

            Let alone the Federal Reserve situation and monetary policy which you never elaborate on.

            You clearly don’t want to take on any other set of rational/mechanistic ideas.

            What can I do.  Alot of Americans are making a big effort to re-examine our systems and institutions and political assumptions, in the wake of the biggest power-elite financial swindle in our history.

            Hope you will join the party someday.

          • Anonymous

            Well I have looked into Ron Paul. I have a friend who is a Libertarian and we have some pretty good debates about this stuff.  I’m just not into the idea of taking government back towards a time when the population was only a few million.  The other issue for me is I just don’t see how going back to the gold standard is rational. When the history of this proves otherwise.

            What gets me is Paul has been inside the DC system for many, many years and he’s benefiting from the health care, pension and perks of this system while he tells thee rest of us we should not be wanting this. I would respect him more if he bought his health insurance on the open market like everyone else and had to use the same pension of retirement system most people use, such as IRA’s or 401k’s. He talks a good game while enjoying the perks of the game he says is broken.
            Just an observation.

          • Observer

            Did you see before/after one of the debates or on some candidate news piece (don’t remember) they were going through the  Net Worth of all the candidates? what with all the Romney tax talk…

            Paul was at the bottom. 

            Non issue, especially if you want to get comparative.

          • Anonymous

            On the “open market” Ron Paul can not buy health insurance.  There literally is no market for health insurance for people his age. 

          • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

            Paul doesn’t participate in the pension system. He agrees that it’s unfair. 

        • Anonymous

          I knew this quote was coming.  Ron Paul opposes the government on every issue so of course there are some that he is correct on.  How much overlap is there between Ron Paul and Nader on consumer safety regulation?  On environmental regulation?  Wall Street regulation? 

          • Anonymous

            Very little, that was my point.

          • Still Here

            very little usually is your point

          • nj

            Leather Dave +1,001 handles has posted that dozens of times.

            I can’t blame Ralph for trying to build bridges on particular issues. Yes, R.P. is right about some isolated issues, but as a package, he’s dramatically and sadly unqualified to be president. 

            And there’s no way Nader would support the totality of a Libertarian system that Leather Dave espouses, despite it’s impracticality.

          • nj

            Here’s a cogent commentary on the Paul-Nader convergence:

            http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2011/09/28/ralph-nader-and-left-libertarian-convergence/

          • Observer

            Are we really going to turn to “college graduate” bloggers for deep analysis and link to that now?

          • Modavations

            I thought you were into leather?

        • Observer

          Nice non-answers guys. Ralph speaks for himself.

          What is it besides Civil Liberties, Military Industrial Complex, and Wall St/Fed shenanigans do you think is so much more important this election cycle?

          Sadly, you guys are more interested in winning an argument with me or combating my poor tone/delivery, than real progress.

          • Anonymous

            No to the contrary, I agree with a lot of what you are saying about our dysfunctional government in DC.
            I also agree with you about Civil Liberties, the Military Industrial Complex, and Wall streets hold on our nation.

            What I disagree with on is monetary policy and the libertarian idea so little government that we end up with a back water of a nation. Which is what we had in the 20′s. 

            I can’t see how going back to a gold standard is doable and from what I’ve read about it, it did not work very well when the economy went south. Which economies do, the question is how hard to they fall.

             

          • notafeminista

            F. Scott Fitzgerald and his peers would disagree at your assessment of their era as being part of a “backwater.”

      • Modavations

        Bill Moyer was an assassin for LBJ.He was in charge of outing Gays.Steiglitz is a shill for Socialist-communists

    • notafeminista

      You start from assumption they want freedom.   Since they do not, your arguments while sound, are academic.

      • Observer

        It is tempting to give up.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You, and evidently, Ron Paul, keep the chant for ‘the Gold Standard’, when it is pointed out that there is NOT enough gold? 
         Expecting different results with the same old repetition?   Some have a name for that?
         It is Ron Paul’s job to come up with a workable option to his unworkable proposal, if he wants to be taken seriously?

      • Observer

        Gold+Silver+Platinum….. whatever.

        That is a non-sensical criticism to the problem of unsound money.

        Once the money printers/money changers and political class got together, there was no looking back. And here we are.

        • Modavations

          Terry has severe issues.Stick around he usually melts down this time of day.By 10:00 PM he’ll be in full hysterics

  • TomK in Boston

    What a joke, straight voodoo economics. 

    The recovery stinks because after 30 years of class warfare, tax cuts and deregulation, bogus free trade and union busting, the economy is structured to funnel all the wealth to the top. We’re not victims of inexorable economic forces, we just mnade stupid choices.We’ve done an amazing job of denying the facts in favor of voodoo ideology. And, the facts are that the glory days of the middle class was the period of very high taxes and regulation and strong unions, and the middle class has been sinking since we adopted reagan voodoo economics in 1980. Everything the gang at the “Cato institute” etc said about the Bush tax cuts was WRONG and the media continue to take them seriously. Why? Isn’t there any penalty for being wrong all the time?I’m sick of the euro bashing. They have problems, we have problems that IMO are worse, pointing to their problems and demanding more class-warfare here is pointless. The primary driver of the euro debt is the economic crash caused by the deregulated banksters, not too much spending.We don’t have to re-invent the wheel, FDR showed how to recover from the first Great Depression, all we need to do is follow that roadmap to get out of the Bush Depression.

    • Still Here

      Please, boomers inability to deny themselves anything is the reason we’re in this pickle.  They’re a generation of consumerist crybabies who would rather have their insurance company pay for Viagra and Botox, the bank pay for their house and car, and the credit card company pay for their Whole Paycheck groceries and luxury vacations than live like the Jones’. 

    • notafeminista

      By helping instigate a world war?    

  • Modavations

    That guy might be my Doppleganger.I wonder if he owns a guppy?Picture the painting “the scream”by Munch.Now picture TerryTT,Jeffe68,TRFX,and NJ.You can’t say that stuff,you can’t think that.My God,this is NPR!!! t

    • Anonymous

      Boy oh boy, you are such bore.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Any idea what he is hallucinating about?

        • Anonymous

          Something to do with Cézanne, who never made much money off his work.He was supported by his family.

          • Modavations

            Next time your in Manhattan I’ll loan you $20.00 so you can see the good stuff.$20.00 mon dieu.i’M A COLLECTOR i THOUGHT i OWNED 20 CANVASES,BUT AS i SAID i RECOUNTED AND IT’S MORE LIKE 40.yOU SHOULD SEE MY RUGS,.dO YOU KNOW WHAT THE bARNES cOLLECTIOn is?.Where’s the Courtauld Museum?.My father is a painter and I’ve studied painting for ever.Pissant

          • Anonymous

            40 canvases of what?
            Yes I know the Barnes and the Courtauld is in London.
            You studied painting? Who is that you don’t know that Manet was influenced by Velasquez? If you studied painting how is that you don’t seem to know a damn thing about it. I don’t need your 20 bucks. I’d rather spend my time and money at the Frick or the Met. By the way calling people pissant is pretty low buddy. Again you know shit about painting.

          • Modavations

            No my father is a painter and I know everything.To say Cezanne is no good because he was poor is so facile.$20.00 good god,you pathetic pissant

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda’s hallucination that he knows everything?

          • Modavations

            Since when is the Met Free you pissant

          • Modavations

            Hey pissant I can bring that back to the bison cave drawings

          • Anonymous

            That must be good shit.  I guess it’s noon somewhere, as they say.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            He paints cars, or houses?

        • Modavations

          Dude how many languages do you speak?Leftistsi Hystericus does not count.Easy on the cocktails today son.

      • Modavations

        Here to pick your daily fight,or will you attempt to make a point)

        • Anonymous

          OK I’ll make a point. You are one huge tube.

    • Modavations

      Refering to the guest who beat Tom A. like a red headed step son.Didn’t get his name,but he was a delight.The guest who had Tom going but,but,but….

  • Tina

    TO THE STAFF AT ON POINT:  I wonder if this is something happening to my computer, or if it’s something at your end of things.  I tried to post a comment about the topic in HOUR TWO; I tried about 5 times.  I keep getting a message that says:  System Error, Discus.  I noticed that there are no comments, so maybe this is at your end.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Some of us noted that problem earlier.
         Alex said they’d handle the comments from this comment board.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Python Comment 
        The crap about habitat not suitable, is bogus.
       ‘Experts’ said that the Cottonmouth Water Moccasins that have been seen and killed in Tennessee, couldn’t have been here, because of climate. 
        Five  years ago, the Indianapolis, Indiana Zoo had one that they had captured in Indiana!

    • notafeminista

      Thus proving a “consensus” in science is wrong.  Good job.

    • Modavations

      Next week we’ll work on “bleats” for environmental topics.Think how much time you and the audience will save.For instance Bleat 1 E(frigging fracking),E2(man enhanced global warming,E3(poisoned water tables)…

  • Ellen Dibble

    So the stockbroker’s (Hanke’s) definition of prosperity sounds to me like this:  “central planning” by a conglomerate of “unelected” pseudo-monopolies that in many ways escape national control by any nation by being transnational, in effect a minority with the purpose of maximizing the good (in their own terms), and more and more defining one-man-one-vote as one-dollar-one vote.

    • Modavations

      Throw darts at the NYSE.You’ll do better then taking advice from stockbrokers

  • Strobaffa

    Hey Tom – Just wondering if we can get Paul Krugman on here at some point to get his view of the state of the economy and his vision and solutions to help us move forward.  Thanks!

  • Tina

    Just testing.  Will this comment go thru?  Hour Two today is not working (for me, or for others, too?)  

    • Modavations

      Spare us,we know your point before you make it

  • notafeminista

    Really….if we don’t run from this “GreenNewDeal” nonsense as fast as we can, we deserve whatever we get.

    http://green.autoblog.com/2012/02/07/fisker-lays-off-employees-halts-production-while-renegotiating/

    • Modavations

      Canada quit Kyoto.Spain refuses to subsidize Green Projects

  • Anonymous

    What a colossal exercise in futility I see here, fueled mostly by blind partisan ideology. I’ve been listening to people from both parties and with every conceivable economic slant, moan and groan about the impending doom awaiting us all for FORTY years. I’m old enough to remember Richard Nixon’s wage and price controls, enacted in a futile attempt to stem inflation, which entered double digits during his administration. I remember Jimmy Carter’s charge of America’s malaise and the criticism he received because of it. Ronald Reagan’s silly trickle-down foolishness and many tax raises which those who have deified him have chosen to simply ignore. Bush the elder’s “Read my lips” promise, followed by more tax hikes. George W. Bushes tax cuts for the wealthy were going to save America, or destroy us, depending on one’s ideological bent. Obama’s economic policies have destroyed America as we know it, according to some here. What a bunch of balderdash. For decades, half of America has believed that the economic policies of the then current administration would ruin us all, while the other half believed those policies were foolproof. Yet, the turmoil continues, year after year, decade after decade, despite all those great minds with all those great solutions. This goofy, partisan bickering will still be going on fifty years from now, and it will be as counterproductive then as it has always been.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but it keeps them off the street corners.

      • Modavations

        Make a point

        • Anonymous

          Your a clown.

    • Observer

      and so…..  keep on truckin’?

      headlong into the abyss? 

      • Anonymous

                No. We could act as if we have functioning brain cells, drop all of the ideological gobbledygook that has never got us anywhere, and try to give a damn about what’s good for the country rather than the PARTY.

        • Observer

          here, here! but what are the alternative directions?

          I argue that Self-Government and liberty based on and constrained by the Constitution and Rule of Law is the best model for prosperity and justice that the world has seen.

          Is it perfect? No. Is it better than the rest, especially looking at history? Yes.

          Thats not ideology, its pragmatism.

          • Anonymous

             There is no need for alternative directions. Everything you say about our constitutional form of government is dead on. But partisan stubbornness long ago replaced informed, objective decision making, the goal of which is to benefit the country as a whole. The ridiculous joke that passes for congress today is the embodiment of this selfish stubbornness. If these clowns are the best we can do, maybe the abyss of which you speak is unavoidable.

        • notafeminista

          What a novel idea.  Let’s start with turning off the financial faucet for public education and so-called green projects.  Dare you?

          • Anonymous

               “Financial Faucet”. Thank you for providing a perfect example of the ideological gobbledygook of which I speak.

          • notafeminista

            *chuckle*  …smells like a “no” to me.

          • Modavations

            I own the patent on Dictionary of Leftist Gobble de gook”.Get your own material

    • Fredlinskip

           One might conclude from your comment that as long as our nation is not currently in a depression, it’s all right to repeat all the same policies that brought us to the brink.

         If you don’t care about whether your country sinks or prospers I guess there is no need to learn anything form our mistakes.
      To learn something might require the adoption of some new policies- or policies that have worked in the past.

      Let’s keep running into the same walls. Let’s not learn anything.

      Thats the “Feet to Fire” way.

      • Anonymous

               When has anyone in this country learned anything from, or admitted to mistakes made on the economic front? We’re still debating the merits of the New Deal, for God’s sake. Social Security and Medicare often have us in

        • Fredlinskip

          “..liberal Democrats recite, en masse, the ridiculous claim that wealth does not create jobs, it’s equally foolish.”
           
            It’s difficult to understand how anyone can soberly argue that wealth focused in fewer and fewer hands is healthy for our country or will create jobs;
            
              UNLESS  either one has ulterior motives, OR has fallen under the hypnosis espoused by right-wing media.

          Will GOP be ultimately happy if all wealth  is finally focused in one tiny group?
          One King of kings and all will be well?

          Why did we bother to break away from our benevolent Masters in England if this is what Americans now believe?

          • Anonymous

               I’ve had eleven jobs in my lifetime. None of them were government jobs. Where, then did these jobs come from? Thin air? Fairies? Kind hearted people of no financial means? We’ve had this conversation before. As I’ve stated many times, financial misdeeds, whether highly immoral or outright illegal in nature, are to be condemned and/or prosecuted at every turn. But liberals simply cannot stop themselves from painting all wealth with the broad brushes of GREED and EVIL. Unless, of course it’s some millionaire actor in Hollywood who happens to be a Democrat.     

          • Fredlinskip

             I don’t equate wealth with evil.
            An economic system where majority of wealth is concentrated in hands of a few is not healthy and is ultimately not sustainable.

            I know prosperity for larger percentage of Americans is construed as a radical “comi” idea by some, but IMO this is healthier concept than the course we have been charting in recent decades.

            “Conservatism”, by definition wishes to maintain status quo. Of course those who have profited the most from a lop-sided system wish things to stay the same. The fact that these same folks have the most influence on political discourse and campaign contributions, to me is “not a good thing”.

  • Darthomas

    Thank you once again, Tom, for standing up to baseless blather as that espoused by the guest on your show today proponing the likes of capitalist DE-regulation. We get so frustrated when we listen to other NPR programs where people spout unfounded Opinions — and blatantly dishonest “facts” — which go unchallenged by the moderators and the truth they *should be* offering for consideration. Thank you for your courage — and for  your Knowledge of the topics on the show. You’ve done your homework and it shows. Now if only we could clone you! (metaphorically speaking ;)

    • Ellen Dibble

      Tom to the stockbroker as the only concession I could hear:  It takes two to tango. 
          If only the banks hadn’t been regulated (at all, apparently), they wouldn’t have had the sort of hoarders mentality of take all the risk you possibly can, up front, get yourself overextended, bloated like a balloon.  After all, there may be a Democrat administration come along and BLAM, no more percs.  
         So the two were the Federal Reserve and Wall Street?  The regulators who were standing back or the regulators who were waving their measuring sticks? 
          Hanke lost me while he was talking about the great promise of fracking — frakking.  If I could make a four-letter word out of that, I would.  More houses, more cars, more oil — it’s a kind of man-made El Nino, El GrandFather, The Mother of All Prosperity.  I don’t trust it.

      • Still Here

        You mean if banks acted like the individuals that borrowed from them. 

        The promise of hydro-fracturing is jobs here as opposed to Arabia or elsewhere even less hospitable.  The rest is a side issue.

        • Anonymous

          Just think of all the new business opportunities in putting out the fire from your drinking water being flammable, or treating the new forms of cancer caused by the toxins disseminated by the process.  The benefit to the GDP is beyond dispute.

          • Still Here

            If you can cite more than 10 cases of long-term drinking water contamination from the tens of thousands of wells where hydro-fracturing was used, then I’ll listen to your point.  If  not, then get out of the way of progress.

          • Anonymous
          • Still Here

            Great, I’ll just go to the American Petroleum Institute site for the rebuttal and we’ll be on our way.  Moreover, there is no discussion of duration of effect.

          • Anonymous

             But if the complaints are true and  indicative of widespread significant problems, you would welcome the job creation needed to address those problems, right?  Isn’t that your basic point?

          • Still Here

            Two very big ifs and I think the jobs created to address any problems will be overwhelmed by jobs creating solutions.

          • notafeminista

            Exactly the kind of thinking that killed 20 million sub-Saharan Africans before the use of DDT was reinstated.  Well.  The Left keeps saying there are too many people on the planet.

          • Modavations

            DoesRachael Carsonhear the screams?

          • Modavations

            We pray to Giai.We love humanity it’s humans we hate.When asked about the 20,000 high paying jobs on the Keystone pipeline,Jan Shackowsky(?),Ill. and our own hysterical woman TerryTT,said 20,000 jobs is no big deal

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Your ‘chemical’ memory gone again?
               I said that even Keystone admitted that it was LESS than 13,000 jobs, and that was not as big of a deal as 20,000!

          • Modavations

            A lady jumped you and said how condescending that you would say 20,000 jobs are no big deal.

    • Still Here

      Gotcha baseless blather is ok as long as you agree with it.

  • Yar

    Reply to Still here http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/02/08/economy#comment-433072192

    “Working for things is not equivalent to slavery. If you are a farmer you know that.

    Unless you mean we are slaves to entropy and scarcity, with which I agree.

    The question is how we govern ourselves in the face of scarcity/entropy and your philosophical view on freedom”

    I am a slave to a system of slavery, I pick tomatoes at the price illegal immigrants pick them,  I am not willing to make my farm into a plantation of exploitation, so I have limited access to labor.  It is cheaper (less loss) for me to give away what I grow than to attempt to sell it on the wholesale market.  I pretty much did that last year with vegetables.  Between God’s food pantry and church all of what I grew went to charity or my own kitchen.  Sold some beef to pay the taxes. 
    There is violence in our economic system, we cannot remain clean and still participate.  It is nice to have the resources to avoid Wal-Mart, but we still benefit (in the short term) from their exploitation.  
    My reference to slavery was a paraphrase of  Wendell Berry in his book the Hidden Wound.  It has been a long times since I read it so I can’t attest to its accuracy.  

    • Modavations

      I won’t read anything over one paragraph,oh ” ponderous one”!!!Blah,blah

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ADHD?

        • Modavations

          By 10:00 he’ll be drunk as a skunk and hysterical.How many languages did you say you speak

    • Steve

      we cannot remain clean and still participate

      I agree, nicely stated.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Just discovered Wendell Berry.  First I got was ‘Jaber Crow’.  Reminded me a lot of local life in the past.
         Have you considered letting someone else sell your produce on the road side, etc…?  Good, homegrown produce should bring a good price.
         If you built your own house, you have skills that are worth having!

    • notafeminista

      Remain clean of what exactly?  What low thing is it with which you might fancy you would become “dirty”?

  • Adrian from RI

    Why do we expect an Economic Recovery to be made possible by the same institutions and governmental policies that caused the problem in the first place? Have we forgotten about Redlining (1968), the Community Reinvestment Act (1977), Toxic loans laundered by Freddie and Fannie into “Mortgage Backed Securities” that corrupted the whole economic system? Will we ever learn that collectivism leads to misery?  
     
    The collectivists take credit for all the benefits (like the Industrial Revolution) made possible by freedom and capitalism and blame the capitalists for all the miseries (like the present economic meltdown) that socialism has caused and still is causing throughout the world. What makes this moral inversion possible? For an answer read: “The Virtue of Selfishness” and “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.”
     
    Some definitions:
     
    Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.  http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/capitalism.html 
       
    Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/socialism.html
     

    • Ray in VT

      Oh, please.  Citing Rand for definitions like that (or for pretty much anything else from my point of view) is laughable.  It would be like if I cited Marx for a definition of capitalism.  Also, both are more of economic systems rather than social system.  And if capitalism is when “all property is privately owned”, then when have we ever had capitalism?  There has always been a “public” every since the first hunter-gatherers settled down and found that they had to have some common rules in order to get things to work.  For that matter, then nomads probably have some sense of the public as well, but I digress.

      • Modavations

        Have you read Ayn.Don’t lie,I may test you with questions.To half the world she is god,The message is,if you make the life of the job creator too onerous,he’ll/she’ll leave.Then you’re left with Activists.

        • Anonymous

          The next person who refuses to make more money because it will make their life more “onerous” will be the first in history.

          • notafeminista

            Why are you so worried about what your neighbor is doing?  Take care of yourself first.

          • TFRX

            It’s your side ever on the failed search for the Randian heroes who, for example, had to give up saving the world with their enlightened self interest at a marginal rate of 39%, instead of 36%.

            This the best you got? You’ve really succumbed to believing the Foxholers’ PR?

          • notafeminista

            It isn’t the Randian heroes who are running out of money faster than you can say “Jack Robinson”.  Stop poking your nose into your neighbor’s business and take care of yourself first.

          • TFRX

            Leave it to a hack like you to say “prying” for the majority of Americans want to normalize tax rates on the wealthy.

            Stop assuming; you’re making an ass out of you and you.

          • Modavations

            I’m with Herr Buffet.Everyone should pay 18%.It’s a question of fairness.What the hell is Social Justice anyways

  • Modavations

    Free men pour in at everyside.The liberation of NPR is imminent.Soros has grabbed Tom A.by the ear and hauled him into the office.”Suppose we lose our funding!!!

  • Modavations

    The Feds in Boston are wondering why hacks working for the Chelsea Housing Dept. are paying $25.00 rent.The head of Special needs in Metheun resigned for embezzling.It’s the spending stupid.Privatize everything.Let the church ministrate welfare

  • Modavations

    Term Limits and the gold standard fixes this up Toute de suite.I’d make your general, run of the mill hack switch jobs every ten years.Make them learn something new,it’ll keep them on their toes.

  • Modavations

    Economists give Palm Readers a bad name

  • Modavations

    Here’s how one soothsays….If gold hits 2200 the end is nigh

  • Modavations

    I sell many lines of inexpensive jewelry(20.00-40.00 retail).I am the canary in the birdcage.When disposible income becomes available,the girls by my merch..I just got over my worst year in 22 years.The Tucson Gem and Mineral show is on right now.My pals  say sales are miserable.

    • Anonymous

      I’m beginning to think that you have some form of ADHD.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        i bet a million dollars you like men?

        • Modavations

          I’ve renamed the guy Wrong side.Remember when he picked the fight with you(as he does with everyone,even his allies) and you asked if he’d gotten up on the wrong side of the bed.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          REAL money?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Mercury?  Lead?  Asbestos?  Tobbacco smoke? 

        • Modavations

          If you want to see a stalker in action,here’s your boy.If you want a laugh go to yesterdays “Bringing up Baby and read the posts around 12:32PM,1:40 PM and 4:06.If you really want to see how disturbed this guy is go toWeek in the news Feb 3.See the back and forth between Gregg and TTT.7:18 Am

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Compare Moda’s comments?

        • Modavations

          Terry,I speak Eng.Spanish and French and a decent Italian.My hysterical woman, how many languages do you speak.Leftistsi Hystericus doesn’t count

  • Modavations

    Elect a businsessman to run the country.Enough of the Social Workers and Activists

    • Anonymous

      Bush was businessman and he drove the drove the US economic bus off of a
      cliff! He will likely go down as the worst
      president in history. No single president can be credited with causing
      anywhere nearly as much damage to our economy as did Dubya through tax cuts,
      deregulation, laissez faire or should I say lazy fare policies. On top of
      that he launched two unfunded wars. Never in US history has a war not been funded with tax hikes. No, instead, he doubled down on tax cuts for the terminally wealthy. His management of the wars was moronic. Afganistan wasn’t good enough, he was obsessed with Iraq… how many soldiers and civilians have paid horrific prices for his blunders. The economic drain on the country has been terrible as well. He was the most ‘vacationingest’ president to boot. He was on vacation during Katrina and he stayed on vacation and we all know how well that turned out.

      Yeah, we definitely need more Randian thinkers in charge of the economy… who do you think is in charge of wall street? The regulators?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

        how many relationship did he destroyed. husbands and wives separated because of long term effects of war.

        • notafeminista

          None of whom were drafted.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            National Guard and Reservists were deployed in higher percentages NOT done, since WWII, if then!
               National Guard and Reservists are NOT active duty troops!

          • notafeminista

            Which negates my comment how precisely?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            If you don’t understand that, you wouldn’t understand! 

      • Modavations

        I won’t read anything over a paragraph.I’ve got ADHD…..Now where the hell was I

  • Modavations

    I’m taking the rest of the shift off.The warriors are everywhere

  • Isaac Walton

    Bush#2 was a business man, so I think you mean successful business man. 

    • Modavations

      Bull.Freddy Smith from Fed Ex is a businessman,Steve Jobs is a businessman,Mr.Gates is a businessman

  • Isaac Walton

    Electing a business man to run the country isn’t the best idea. Run this country like a business and MORE people will be out of work. Every business that I worked for gave a great deal to the haves (execs, large shareholders) and VERY little to the people who ACTUALLY do most of the heavy lifting. 

    • Still Here

      Electing a socialist who thinks the government should do everything isn’t working out that well.

      • Modavations

        And they’ll have to pry my light bulbs from my blue,rigormortised fingers!!!Love your stuff kid!!!

      • TFRX

        When you’re in a hole of ignorance, keep digging.

        • notafeminista

          “Anec” is not a sufficient prefix for -data.

    • Modavations

      I’ll take my chances

      • Isaac Walton

        Well I guess you have the right to keep doing that. 

    • Lady in Flames

      Even business men don’t trust other business men. Were the greatest presidents of this country business men? Blue blooded? I don’t know, any historians out there?

      • notafeminista

        Well of course they were.  Selfish, greedy, colonizing, slave-owning, exploitative business men.  Haven’t you been paying attention?

        • notafeminista

          Oh and land-owning.  One thousand pardons.

    • Fredlinskip

       Romney’s and GOP’s general business model would seem to indicate that “they” might prefer “downsize ” our country, eliminating jobs, & keep revenue low and debt high; so that the “shareholders” at the top can continue to flourish-    to the detriment of everyone else.

      But no need for concern- we all can depend on wise and benevolent charitable donations from those that have so distorted and rigged the American economic system to sustain us all.

      Such is the way of supply-side economics and unrestrained capitalism.

  • Anonymous

    Please someone turn off the Modavations comment bot

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

      You have a manly user name but your profile pic is so girly.

      • Anonymous

        How old are you, 12?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

          12? I just noticed it. just like you noticed my comment. so are you also 12? Are you full time bully on OnPoint. you really hold grudges ha? Do you drive your car in rage? you sound like a person who will get even whatever it takes to get even. no matter the consequences of your action.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            I bet a million dollars you will answer me back.

          • Anonymous

            No I don’t hold grudges but to say someones picture is girly is asinine as is your 5th grade level response.

            What my comment to you has to do with driving beats me.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            you do hold grudges, it so obvious. don’t lie to yourself it’s a bad emotional intelligence.

          • Anonymous

            Emotional intelligence? You call someones little picture girly and then whine about being called on it.
            Now that’s a lack of emotional intelligence as well as intelligence in general.

          • Still Here

            too bad for him, emotional intelligence was his only chance for any at all

          • Anonymous

            you guys should form a club.

          • Modavations

            He’s  a chump he’s trying to tell me Cezanne sucks because he didn’t make money.Cezanne and Picasso are they greatest painters the world has ever produced.My opinion

          • Anonymous

            No your putting words in my mouth here. I said Cezanne is not one of favorite painters. I mentioned his financial situation because you judge everything on that level. The irony here is wonderful.

            You then say Velasquez is boring and yet he was Manet and Picasso’ painting God.
             
            Your opinion seems to point more to your lack of understanding of painting than anything else.
            I for one see the work of all of them as something to look at in art historical terms.
            Your opinions on art are neither here nor there.
            How a painting is made, which is why Manet and Picasso loved Velasquez, is what you seem to leave out. Which leads me to believe that you don’t know shit about painting.

          • Modavations

            I won’t read anything over a paragraph.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            ADHD?

          • Modavations

            My father is a painter.I own 40 canvasesyou pissant

          • Terry Tree Tree

            House or car?

          • Anonymous

            good for him.

            I can see he had no inlfuence on your art eduaction

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

            Asinine? You really want to call people names ha? I just wondering about his user name because it sound so masculine and he has puppy or a dog for a profile pic. Does it hurt you? Driving use your common sense for a 43 year old. you know what I meant. By the way, a 43 year old man don’t argue with a 12 year old. keep

          • Terry Tree Tree

            REAL money? 

      • Modavations

        These are failed little men watching their world views collapse

      • Anonymous

        Perhaps a picture of the grim reaper would be more appropriate, or better yet, a pit bull with blood soaked fur and bits of gray matter on his head.

    • Anonymous

      He has some kind of issue. 

      • nj

        More than one.

        • Modavations

          Like crows sitting on a telephone wire.Caw Caw

          • Anonymous

             Haw Haw

          • Modavations

            That’s an awfully cute dog.Are you sure it’s appropriate for a warrior.TerryTT would love that dog.It matches his/her purse

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    This year predictions Anarchy all over the world (99% movement), impending attack by the Israeli against Iran predicted to occur from September to December of 2012, Natural disaster all over the world, 25,000 year due solar alignment that will wobble earth and economic collapse because of 5 dollars a gallon on gas because of the Iran block the straight of Hormuz.

    • Still Here

      Trust me, I’m not buying Christmas presents until the last possible moment in case there is no Christmas.

      • Ellen Dibble

        Maybe I’ll buy chopsticks for everybody so they can start practicing for either emigration or domination.

        • notafeminista

          Heh…ok that was funny!

        • Modavations

          righteous

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Girl Scout-prepared?

  • Monkeypill

    My business mentor often said “If you always do what you’ve
    always done you’ll always get what you always got.” He expanded this idea
    further by adding “If you do more of
    what you’ve always done, you’ll only get more
    of what you’ve always got.” This fundamental wisdom has proven accurate.

    When we consider that since the 1970’s deregulation of the
    financial markets has been the dominating theme of politics in the old-money capitalist
    economies of the world, and that we’ve witnessed one economic train wreck after
    another since—each more destructive than the prior—it is impossible to conclude
    that more deregulation is the solution. As my mentor would conclude, more
    deregulation will only lead to more economic instability. And he’d be right!

    If we’re honest with ourselves we can admit that humans have
    a long history of exploiting other humans for personal gain when given free rein
    to do so. What makes anyone actually believe that those who are addicted to
    money and power have any intentions of being “fair” to those they prey upon??? Hence,
    the need for rules and regulations to protect the rest of us from the bullies on
    the playground…

    The argument of whether government or Wall Street is to
    blame poses a false-dichotomy. Both have been corrupted by money-lust in a
    system which encourages and glorifies greed and self-interest. Where is the
    surprise here?  

    Listening to these guest “experts” defend the status quo
    disturbs deeply. It clearly demonstrates the disconnect of the “successful capitalists”
    from the rest of society which exposes the complete denial of the former and
    the true understanding of the latter about why and how the system of politics
    and economic interests is corrupted and utterly broken.

    These free market extremists are truly insulated in their
    self-constructed echo chamber, which does not bode well for the rest of the
    world since these are the folks who have been and still are running the show
    and whose theories get us into these messes to begin with. All indications are
    that they will continue down their rigid, idealistic path lined with primroses while
    power-drunkenly dragging the rest of us down the rabbit hole which they have
    dug.

    • notafeminista

      You refer to those who want freedom as extremists.

      Lengthy and emotionally manipulative. 

      • Monkeypill

        Please define the term “freedom”.

        Do you mean the freedom of a small elite ruling class to dominate, suppress and exploit the masses?

        Do you mean freedom for those who, by hidden and corrupt devices, are permitted to create a system to favor their interests at the expense of the rest of the society?

        Freedom by the few to dominate, exploit and manipulate those not interested in worldly power and extreme material wealth?

        Are you talking about freedom for those who, with blind ambition and money-lust, desire only to exploit anyone and everyone to attain their greed-driven goals of total domination in a vain attempt to heal some feeling of inadequacy?

        If you do/are, I ask you with utmost sincerity to review the countless examples in history how that definition of freedom, when exercised absolutely, ultimately played out—regardless of who or what group said freedom favored.

        The word freedom, as with all words, are open to  interpretation within
        the context and intention of their definer’s definition(s).

        In society, the highest definition of the word freedom would include another word: fairness—for EVERYONE in the society. Fairness fosters  strength, stability and cohesion in society.

        Fairness is a word our current system of economic and political “freedom” no longer includes. As a result, the word “trust” has also been discarded.

        Btw… I don’t do or subscribe to sound-bites. Some issues still deserve in-depth thought and expression for the mutual benefit of all concerned.

        • notafeminista

          There is no such thing as “fair.”   We are as humans, regardless of circumstances born into, not born equally.  Some of us are short or tall, red-haired or brown, some are born with physical or mental challenges.   

          Your concept of so-called “fairness” lowers standards and aspirations.  By its very definition it cannot foster cohesion as it almost assuredly guarantees that the perceived “haves” will have their property and the livelihood to be taken away…given to the perceived “have-nots.”   The playing field cannot be made level as there will always be “have-nots” and the “haves” will find a way (as they always do)not to “have” anymore.

          Your notion that somehow you are entitled to what I have based on some juvenile notion of “fairness” is both insulting and greedy.

          Stop coveting your neighbor’s oxen.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            This is how you defend those that use lies, theft, scams, abuse of power, and other immoral crimes, to seize and hold power and wealth?

          • notafeminista

            To presume that one who has more than you do is immoral is dishonest.

            Stop trying to dictate other’s behavior.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            The news, and history is full of people exposed for doing immoral and dishonest things, to acquire wealth and power! 
               I’ve said before, I DO NOT have a problem with people becoming rich. 
            I DO have a problem with people becoming rich through lies, theft, embezzling, scams, bogus ‘financial instruments, and ALL the other crimes that they do to become rich! 
               You don’t?

          • Anonymous

            As you’re doing now?

          • Modavations

            Bleat # 2(Greedy rich)

          • Monkeypill

            I don’t desire to make this personal, but see no way to
            avoid it.

            The content of your reply indicates a “law-of-the-jungle” mind-set.
            No doubt folks who share a similar perspective would endorse a return to a
            “Wild West”, every-man-for-himself “society.” (I place
            quotations marks around the word because such a reality would be anything but
            social.) Would you also condone a return to slavery as a justifiable
            consequence of the “free-markets”? How about debtors’ prisons?

            Such a perspective has its roots in a predatory world view—a psychology of lack
            and limitations premised on fear of “the other”.

             

            Yes, there is such a reality as fairness, even if you cannot
            comprehend it. It is a function of the higher and nobler quality of the human
            spirit. If there is no such thing as fairness, then how can ANY political and
            economic system operate? It can’t. EVERY game needs rules…

            It’s easy to scrub the scriptures for quotes out of context to justify abhorrent
            behavior toward others. We see this playing out in the world of religious terrorism today. But since it was you who referenced the Bible first, allow me to
            paraphrase a few more from Christ which offer a relevant perspective:

            -You cannot serve both God and money…

            -Love your neighbor as yourself…

            -Do not store up earthly treasures…

            -Give your cloak also…

            -For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat…

            -What you do to them you do to me…

            -It’s nearly impossible for a rich person to enter the kingdom…

            -If you want to be perfect… sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you
            will have treasure in heaven…

            -Do unto others…

            As stated, there is something good and noble in the human heart that
            strives for fairness and equality for all. This is what has created rules in
            the society to protect those who would otherwise be at the mercy of those who
            have a predatory mind-set. It is this that brought us from the dark ages of the
            past, where the law of the jungle ruled. If it isn’t so, then what HAS been
            the driving force in society to bring us out of the darkness of human misery?
            Certainly not more of the same self-motivated
            unfairness that brought the misery in
            the first place.

            If we remove all the laws and rules that help bring more
            fairness, we know what will happen. History has shown us time and again. No
            need to repeat the lessons…

            I suspect capitalism as an experiment is coming to an end. Probably not in my lifetime,
            but certainly soon. The planet cannot sustain its imbalance-creating and wasteful
            ways. Hopefully, reason, compassion and human self-honesty will prevail before
            that time and it won’t drag us all back to another dark age—this time for the entire globe. I’m not optimistic.

            Returning to the question of fairness: I would close with a question to those who share your
            mind-set: If you can’t feel the natural urge for fairness and compassion in
            your heart, why?

            peace-out

            Peace-out

          • notafeminista

            How many times in any given day has an 8 year old screamed, “It’s not fair!!”

            The notion of fairness is juvenile…an 8 year-old’s protestation at having to eat broccoli.

            Making the playing field level only destroys dreams and fosters resentment.  What point is there in improving when all one has to do is show up?

            I understand that American students are failing by the score..yet they feel really really good about it.

            No thanks.

          • Monkeypill

            We should listen to the 8-year old. He hasn’t yet been polluted by ideology and selfish greed.

          • Anonymous

            You must be a whole load of fun at parties…

          • notafeminista

            How could you possibly know?  Lefties are about as much fun as a broken pay toilet in a diarrhea ward.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Cute joke!  Funny!

          • Modavations

            Ooh La La

          • notafeminista

            Whether or not I store up earthly treasures is between me and God.  He is the One who will judge my actions at the end of the day.  Not you.  Stop minding my business for me.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Yep!  The Bible warns you what will happen?

          • Anonymous

            Nah, your just very selfish, God has nothing to do with it.

          • notafeminista

            Ok, substantiate your assertion.

          • Anonymous

            Of course that a sense of fairness could be achieved, if there is a sense of thought. It sounds quaint, but this is the only formula we have for a decent society, of which we are far away from achieving.

          • Anonymous

            So I guess the fact that is does not happen in countries such as Denmark and France, which have good social services and health care, means nothing to you. You make these outrageous remarks that are based on nothing but conjecture. Name one social democratic nation that takes away peoples property as you describe. You can’t, why because there are none.

          • notafeminista

            A 50% tax rate does just that.  Or maybe you don’t consider money property?  It’s just there…you know.  For the taking.
            Austria has a 20% VAT and a progressive tax rate that STARTS at 20%.  The low end.

            Imagine what folks could do if they were permitted to keep the money  they…y’know…earned.

      • Anonymous

        And you refer to those who, as our founding principles did, put the “common good” at the forefront of our system of government, as socialists or communists. 

        Short and short-sighted.

        • notafeminista

          Nowhere in our founding principles (nay even in life) is there any guarantee of fairness or equality of result. To claim otherwise is intellectually dishonest.

          • Ray in VT

            You made a similar point to me earlier, although I never suggested that equality of outcomes was what I was after.  There are some attempts made at guaranteeing equality in our founding documents in terms of equality before the law.  I agree that equality of outcomes is not attainable.  It just isn’t.  But does that mean that we should not attempt to provide equality of opportunities for our citizens.  While that may not be totally possible, we can at least get somewhere close to that goal in terms of providing a baseline standard of adequate education and access to services.

          • notafeminista

            There is an an equality of opportunity.  What one chooses to do with those opportunities is up to him or her.  Again, I refer to Dr Alfredo Quinones as a prime example of this.  (Apologies to the poster who originally provided his name, I would like to give credit where credit is due).
            Live up to the standard.  Aspire to be more.  Stop trying to level the playing field.

            Has it ever once occurred to anyone on this board to stop making excuses?

          • Ray in VT

             There is to a certain extent, and some people will take greater advantages than others will.  I see plenty of kids who were born into less than ideal situations who are driven to succeed, and I see plenty of others who are content to drink beer and ride their four wheelers in circles all day.

            Why should we stop trying to level the playing field?  How is providing a decent education and a basic social safety net such a terrible imposition on people?  I just don’t get it.

            I grew up milking cows 7 days a week and got picked on by the rich kids in town for it.  You better believe that it lit a fire under me that still drives me today.  I’ve made mistakes in life.  We all have.  I don’t make excuses, but I do know that I got a better shake than some because I went to a good public school.  It has been some of these attempts at leveling the playing field that have let kids like me, who have come from poorer families, get the chance to rise up beyond what our limited financial upbringing may have otherwise allowed.  Some of our attempts at leveling the playing field, through endeavors such universal public education, that helped drive our nation to the top of the pack.  If you want to back away from that, then there are certainly other nations that are showing that they are willing to try and take our place in the sun.

          • notafeminista

            Because making the playing field level for the beer-drinking, dirt-bike riding miscreants to whom you refer discourages those who are driven.  Why strive to succeed when you receive exactly the same benefits and successes as the guy who doesn’t bother to try?

          • Ray in VT

            We don’t receive the exact same benefits.  What do you propose, then, just don’t try to educate some people?  Should we not fund schools in towns full of such miscreants?  If so, then what about those who do want better lives?  They’re there too.

          • Modavations

            raymundo,keep it short.You never told me if you’d read Ayn Rand.The stuff’s great.It’s an adventure,not a technical screed

          • Ray in VT

            I’ll answer you above.  Box is getting too small.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            By hand, or machine?
              Milk cows don’t give days off, except when dry, do they?

          • Anonymous

            Excuses for having some sense of living in  a society and being aware of that instead of being completly selfish.

          • notafeminista

            Taking care of myself isn’t selfish.

          • Anonymous

            I guess you’re not into the idea of being thy brothers keeper.

          • notafeminista

            Not if I can’t keep myself. 

          • Monkeypill

            “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created EQUAL…”

            The U.S. constitution isn’t perfect, and obviously needs updating from time-to-time to more accurately reflect the circumstances of the period, but the concept of equality most certainly is a part of America’s founding principles; indeed a central principle. And note also that the idea of equality was tied to the idea of divine rights as conceived by the Founders. There’s that human compassion principle again. Maybe these guys were on to something…

          • notafeminista

            Men are created equal.  There is only one way for a human to come into this world.  Now you’ll need to point out to me where in the Constitution is there any guarantee of equality of result. 

          • Anonymous

             Dear “nota sequitur”:  Who are you arguing with?  Neither I nor anyone here is advancing that position.  You have thoroughly vanquished the straw man you have created.  Congrats! 

          • notafeminista

            Assume you are correct.  Then just whose “common good” do you refer?  Who are you  hoping to benefit?

  • Showcase

    What is going on here? Did the person in charge of moderating the comments hit the lotto and resign without notice?

    • Jane

      I agree. I’m a lurker but I feel compelled to comment on this. As a woman I really, really resent posters calling other posters women and girls as if it were some kind of insult. I doubt this board would allow any other demographic group to be used rhetorically in this way. I won’t give examples of what i mean at the risk of being misunderstood, but there are all sorts of negative traits stereotypically associated with particular groups that could be slung around to insult people in the same ignorant way. With the exception of “limp-wristed” (which I’ve also seen too much of on this board), this would never be tolerated. But then, “woman is the n—– of the world.” Please find some constructive way to criticize or even lampoon someone else’s ideas. I think anyone listening to OnPoint should be smart enough to do that.

    • Fredlinskip

       It only gets better-
      look at  the comments immediately above yours.

  • TomK in Boston

    Class warfare has been raging since Reagan voodoo economics was adapted in 1980, the deregulated financial sector caused a massive crash, and the benefits of the “recovery” are all flowing to the top. SURPRISE!!! The “fix” proposed by the right is even more voodoo. Give me a break.

    Why doesn’t the media blow the whistle on voodoo econ? It’s been a total failure but it’s high priests are still treated with respect. Unbelievable. 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      How many working-class own radio, tv, newspapers, other media?

      • notafeminista

        Every one of us on this board 3T. 

      • Modavations

        I’m curious,how many languages do you speak.Where did you go to college.Just how much money do you make per year.I refered to 40 canvas that decorate my house.These are oil paintings.My daddy is a painter.He does not paint houses nor cars.He has chumps like you do that kind of stuff

        • Anonymous

          Are you mad or what? Talk about ranting lunacy. I know the moon is full but you do take the cake in inanity and mendacity. 

          • Modavations

            I’ve arranged a wrestling match with you and Fax68.He’s backed out.He refuses to get in the ring with a girl

          • Anonymous

             I use to box.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Those ‘chemicals’ he bragged about?

        • Fredlinskip

           Let them eat cake-
          We get it.
          .

    • Modavations

      Chucky Schumer Democrat is the godfather of wall St

  • Fredlinskip

     Romney’s and GOP’s general business model would seem to indicate that
    “they” might prefer “downsize ” our country, eliminating jobs, &
    keep revenue low and debt high; so that the “shareholders” at the top
    can continue to flourish-    to the detriment of everyone else.

    But no need for concern- we all can depend on wise and benevolent
    charitable donations from those that have so distorted and rigged the
    American economic system to sustain us all.

    Such is the way of supply-side economics and unrestrained capitalism.

  • Modavations

    According to the Leftists bread is now poisonous.Who knew.

    • Anonymous

      Shock and horror. Maybe that explains your delusional mind set, to much bad rye bread.

      • Modavations

        This isn’t a joke son.It was on Brian Williams this evening.Salt!!!Get your hands off my friggin light bulbs and unhand my baguettes

        • Anonymous

          Don’t get fresh, I never touched your baguettes. 

        • Fredlinskip

           They’re showing “Snow Beast” on the Sci-Fi channel again- wouldn’t you rather be watching?

          • Modavations

            Did you see Frozen.I loved that one

  • Modavations

    Today Gov.Patrick said he’s gonna raise taxes to make up for more outrageous shortfalls in Romney-Obama care.Mr.Dileo(?) said screw.Gov.Patrick wants to raise taxes on sugary drinks,etc,.In case you are unaware Mr.Governor,you can buy that crap with your food stamp card.You can also use your card to buy “crack” in Lowell,for that matter

    • Modavations

      Sorry I meant to say in the original post that Gov.Patrick says the sugary stuff leads to health problems

  • Fredlinskip

     The show began with discussion with Adam concerning the belief that the “new normal” is that we should expect much smaller growth and prosperity in the decades to come.

    Isn’t it obvious why this is so?
    The world’s economies have been effectively looted by the machinations of a few: leaving economies burdened by enormous debt.

    As in movie “All The Presidents Men”, ‘”follow the money”.
    Where did all the $ that these countries borrowed go.
    It’s not hard to determine that the lion’s share of the money trickled found it’s way into the hands of a few.

    The pathetic thing is that, for 30+ years a prevalent mantra in America was “feed the rich and all will be well for all”.
    Brilliant!

    • Jason Moser

      “Machinations of the few”??? You mean the European Socialists? The Greek Unions? The Spanish paved capitals?

      No, the problem is the money went to unproductive areas of the economy, to socialist countries, to the politically connected.

      If the money went to productive members of society, then they would have invested these debts only into productive investments, and the economy would be stronger today than ever.

      • Fredlinskip

        Don’t look now, but if you haven’t noticed, large corporations have benefited quite nicely throughout this country’s recession, so obviously these recently anointed “individuals” must be “the unproductive members of society” to which you refer.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Especially the CEOs that run their company into bankruptcy, then collect their BONE-USes, and their Golden Parachute?
             That’s WORSE than non-productive!

        • Jason Moser

          If you worked for one of these large corporations, which pursued the growing emerging markets when things slowed down here in the US, you would be grateful for your high paying job. As are, I’m sure, the people in these markets who now have access to our goods and services now being sold there. As are the people who sell goods and services to these corporate workers…

  • Fredlinskip

      It’s difficult to understand how anyone can soberly argue that wealth
    focused in fewer and fewer hands is healthy for our country or will
    create jobs;
      
        UNLESS  either one has ulterior motives, OR has fallen under the hypnosis espoused by right-wing media.

    Will GOP be ultimately happy if all wealth  is finally focused in one tiny group?
    One King of kings and all will be well?

    Why did we bother to break away from our benevolent Masters in England if this is what Americans now believe? 

    • notafeminista

      It is difficult for anyone to soberly argue, rationalize or justify taking their someone’s property because you believe he no longer deserves it.

      I see and hear theft decried on these boards everyday and yet look at these posts.  Everyday there is much emotional carrying on about how someone cannot possibly need or deserve the largesse they have.

      • Fredlinskip

         So breaking ties with England was thievery?

        Conservatives were on the wrong side of history then as well. At least you guys are consistent.

        • Fredlinskip

          Legalized “thievery” more adequately describes what has been happening
          for past 30+ years as our country has drifted steadily from Democracy
          towards Plutocracy.

          • notafeminista

            As I said.  You somehow feel you are entitled to what someone else has simply because you think he has too much of it.

          • Fredlinskip

             As America found much of it’s wealth funneled away to a small Aristocracy in England a bunch of Progressive American rebels revolted against their British “superiors” ultimately “stealing” vast quantiities of land and resources from their owners in England.
               Like the conservative Tories of that time, you apparently disapprove.

              Everyone has a right to an opinion. We’re still a relatively free country-

            Then again without vigilance we may find our freedoms may erode away.

          • notafeminista

            As opposed to them coming here and “stealing” land from the Native Americans?

            Tsk.

          • Modavations

            They were tourists from Mongolia.They crossed the land bridge 19,000 years ago.Us honky’s were just later day tourists.There were no native Americans

          • Anonymous

            You bet, I want all your stuff…

      • Roy Mac

        People are people, too, my friend.  (To coin a phrase).  Rich people steal from poorer people far more often than vice versa, even tho you seem not to acknowledge that fact.

        • notafeminista

          My wealth does not cause your poverty. (P.J. O’Rourke)

          • Fredlinskip

            “Damn the torpedoes”-Thomas Jefferson

            (after raiding his wine cellar all night long).

            O’

          • http://profiles.google.com/felix.scotfl2 Felix Scott

            That is not true. Your wealth does cause my poverty.

          • notafeminista

            Nope.  The fact that I may be (or you may be) wealthy does not keep someone else from being wealthy.  What you do with your opportunities is both your choice and your responsibility.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            P.J. O’Rourke?  The comedian?  He’s NOT a Wall Street Bankster, or bogus ‘financial instrument’ creator?  Not one of the other criminal ‘elites’, like Bernie Madeoff?

          • notafeminista

            Bernie is in prison, last I knew and deservedly so.

            P.J. O’Rourke is funny and gets paid for being funny.  Long live the free market.

          • TFRX

            P.J. O’Rourke?

            He’s still getting paid today, and stopped being funny ages ago.

          • notafeminista

            Oh, funny is in the eye of the beholder my friend.  The fact that you stopped understanding his humor when he quit working for Lampoon doesn’t make him not funny.  It just means you don’t get his humor.  Probably very common on this board.

      • Anonymous

        Are you talking about when you don’t pay your property taxes and the town or city takes it from to get their back taxes. Because if you don’t like paying taxes, who does, it’s kind of your fault if get in arrears. Taxes particularly local ones are how you keep your town going. Of course there are towns that have little to no taxes, but they also have no paved roads.

    • Jason Moser

      What’s the alternative? Spread the wealth around to unproductive people, and let them make all the decisions. Just like Cuba! A real frickin’ paradise!

      • Fredlinskip

        It’s uncanny- It seems you are directly channeling King George’s thoughts when he was dealing with those silly American “upstarts” who believed that more than a small group of aristocrats should benefit from America’s resources.

        • Jason Moser

          There’s a big difference between an aristocrat bestowed with power at birth because of their lineage, and an entrepreneur, like Jobs or Zuckerburg, or other serial entrepreneurs who are exceedingly productive, and thus are wealthy.

          I believe the founders of our country also rebelled against the taxes imposed against them by a foreign power.
          Do you think taking away Jobs or Zuckerburg’s money years ago would have created more jobs? Or maybe, we could have taken their money and paid union workers more…I’m sure that would have created more jobs right? WRONG!

          • Fredlinskip

               If all our nation’s wealthy were the likes of Jobs, Gates, Buffet, my concerns would not be as great.
            It’s those that have gained their wealth at the expense of the rest of us that I am concerned about.
            What did the banksters create that benefited anyone in long run in recent crisis?
            How does it help to subsidize oil companies– as if they can’t turn a profit.
               How does it help when corps pay zero taxes and only create jobs overseas.
               If it were all as simple as work hard, be honest, and pay your workers fairly, I’d be with you. That’s not how it is.
              We still live in America that glorifies execs at the top who make many hundreds of times as those providing actual good or service.
              Since economy, after all is said and done, is mostly driven by consumer spending;
             accumulating wealth at the top can only bring our country down in the long run, which is fine…

            as long as you don’t give a damn about your country.

          • Jason Moser

            So you have an issue with bankers and oil companies.

            Here’s what I know. The government was continually pushing the banks to lend to those that were less than credit worthy…or else. So the bankers came up with a plan to diversify the mortgage pool risk (via CDO’s), so they could meet the government lending regulations. There was also a glut of savings worldwide, and the Feds had the interest rate too low for too long. Don’t forget the government subsidizes home mortgage interest (a subsidy on a non-productive asset!). Add a little greed on the bankers part, and greed on the public’s part, and voila, you have a housing bubble and a mortgage meltdown. So who is the bad actor here? The public, for being greedy with cash out refi’s and buying too much house? The bankers, for making money diversifying a loan too risky to keep on the banks books? Or the government, for pushing down interest rates and regulating who gets loans? I’d start with the government here.

            The innovation here was risk management via CDO’s. They, or their brethern, will be here for a long time as a lower cost way versus insurance. In fact, these financial instruments may one day lower your cost of home/auto/life insurance by eliminating the middle man (the insurance company).

            Let’s make this easy: I suggest no more subsidies (hand outs) to anyone, oil companies, electric vehicle producers, photovoltaic companies, farms, etc. And as little regulations as possible to play fair.

            Raise taxes on the corporations and they will leave the US. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Why not have a competitive corporate tax rate and bring in more investment into the US? Countries that have done this have created free trade zones that have generated huge amounts of jobs. You can’t tax your way to prosperity.

            The wealth accumulated “at the top” prior to 1920 created vast amounts of jobs and prosperity…people actually moved here.

  • Still Here

    Legalized thievery refers to our tax code, but let’s just call it income redistribution among friends.

    • Ray in VT

      I would certainly call elements of the tax code just that when professional athletes can move their money around in such a way so as not to pay federal income taxes.  I know a guy who used to do the taxes for some NHL guys, and they were able to do just that.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      If your ‘friends’ are the thieves and scammers that create bogus ‘financial instruments’, that are proven scams?

      • Jason Moser

        Yea, I liked NPR’s radio show today that mentioned GM’s ‘bogus financial instruments;’ this is complete BS, since these CDA’s were meant to insure the privately issued bank debt issued to GM. 

        Don’t believe the uninformed media. What ever happened to journalistic integrity and fact checking???

        Not all business people are immoral. There are thieves and scammers in every field.

        Just because you don’t understand something, it doesn’t mean it’s bad.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Rick Waggoner, as CEO of General Motors, ‘lead’ GM into bankruptcy, lost pensions and jobs for workers, lost ALL stock value for GM investors, and got a $20 MILLION BONE-US, for ‘performance’?
             LOTS of other similiar CEOs!

          • Jason Moser

            The root cause of GM’s failure was excessive and inflexible union demands for pay and benefits made during good economic times. This is what made GM uncompetitive and drained all their R&D expenditures.

            As far as the pay, I don’t know the details. If I was a CEO, I’d be very concerned about my professional reputation knowing that I had to lead my company into bankruptcy. Who would ever want to hire me again? I suspect the board wanted to make sure their interests were protected, and Rick didn’t flee prior to the bankruptcy, so they paid him excessively to keep him around.

            Funny you don’t mention how the Obama administration gutted the first-in-line rights of the bond holders during the bankruptcy.

          • Modavations

            I’d never buy an American Car.The Union uses that money to elect Dems.who then cut my throat.

          • Modavations

            The Unions killed American Airline,the unions killed Eastern Airlines,the Unions are killing the P.Office

      • Jason Moser

        Please list one “bogus financial instrument.” Do you have a ticker symbol I can research?

        I have yet to find one myself. I do admit, I have found some instruments I didn’t understand, but once I understood them I found them anything but bogus.Have you taken an econ or finance class? I want to know my audience.

  • Disenfranchised Wisconsinite

    What can we really expect in a country where politicians think “business mogul” gives them street cred for the presidency in a country ravaged by bankers and speculators who bet against all of us.  Sick ideology all the way around.

    • Still Here

      instead let’s go with a community organizer afraid of his own shadow who thinks government is the answer to everything he doesn’t understand

      • Jason Moser

        You mean Chicago’s South Side Socialist?

  • Disenfranchised Wisconsinite

    don’t forget American labor watches their wages slashed by 13% and midwest states are busting our unions down to “right to work” level so we can make chopsticks to send to China like they’re doing in Tennessee — that’s not growth — that’s irony

    • Still Here

      why should i have to join your crappy, corrupt union so that a bunch of my hard earned wages go to a group of lazy thugs; thanks i’d rather be on my own than have to drag you and your sleepy cronies

      • Jason Moser

        Agreed, we can’t get by a week here in Illinois without hearing about another new UNION scandal with pensions, kickbacks, and corruption! I can’t even remember what last week’s scandal was!

        • Still Here

          You’re sunk friend.  Blago, Madigan, Selini, Ryan, … and those are just your public servants.  How clean could Obama be if he came out of that mess?

          • Jason Moser

            Illinois is one of the most unionized, worst public schools, least funded public pension plan, business-hating states in the Union. No wonder businesses and people have been migrating away for the last 20 years. Maybe we can find a way to tax our neighboring states like Wisconsin and Indiana since they are doing so well… 

          • Modavations

            In the Steve Jobs book he said SAT’s dropped with the advent of the Dept.of Ed..He further went on to say that the stronger the Unions got,the more the SAT’s dropped.He also called the Pres.the can’t do President

          • Jason Moser

            In Mexico, the unions are so strong, they don’t even show up for work. The same trend shows up globally – the stronger the union, the worse the education.

          • Modavations

            Pemex gives the Mexicans higher per gallon gasoline then the US

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Steve Jobs sent the jobs that mostly be union to Foxxcon slave labor?

          • Jason Moser

            If it’s really slave labor, then why do buses loaded with 1000′s of people, having traveled for several days, desperate for a job show up outside Foxconn City regularly? I’ve been there before, inside, outside, and around town. I know more about this than the journalists you listed to. And Dell, HP, Apple, Motorola, and many other companies products are also made there in Shenzen. Slave wages for you and I here is the USA, but you can eat a luxurious meal in Shenzen for less than a dollar. Beer included.

            None of these jobs were taken from unions insofar as I know. But some of the jobs went from Mexico to Foxconn.

          • Modavations

            I’ll bet Chinese parents line up around the block to get their kids the gig

        • Modavations

          Try Boston.The last three speakers of the house are in prison,or were disbarred.The Boston Globe has a union,govt. hack outrage ,every day.Last week it was the bust of a grocery store where they’d sell crack for food stamps

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How many CEOs cut their pay, in the multiples they get over workers, FIRST?  And keep those cuts to their pay, when they ‘outsource’?

  • http://twitter.com/wwwcash Criostoir
  • http://twitter.com/wwwcash Criostoir
  • Roy Mac

    This Brian character really has his head up his a$$, doesn’t he?  He is just another one of these Reagan-heads who think it’s really bad that government has grown along with the population.  There are more than 220 million of us now; don’t you crank-head teabaggers get it?  Not only are there more than 300 million people who need government services, they also need state and local services.

    • Still Here

      By any measure government has grown more than the population, government spending has dramatically outpaced GDP, the measure of their productivity.  I’d hate to think where your head is, it’s certainly oxygen-deprived.

  • Jason Moser

    Out of box ideas to fix the economy while reducing the deficit:

    1. Review and eliminate all unnecessary government regulations and institutions on the federal, state, and local level. Let the US become a PARADISE for investment from around the world, and there will be more jobs created than we know what to do with. This will result in a “Free Trade, Free Investment, Free Employment” zone for the USA.
    2. Bring income taxes to zero, or as close as possible to zero for everyone. A ZERO income tax is a FLAT tax, and FAIR for everyone. This will end the squabbling about who is taxed too much or too little. We didn’t have an income tax before, and we can make do without it again.
    3. Allow open immigration into the US for all people from around the world, with the only restrictions on accepting too many people from one country in a given year, and restrict people whose only interest is coming here to exploit our excessive social welfare system.
    4. End all public pensions, social security, and medicare. We can NOT continue to make promises to people today that our kids and grand kids have to pay for! We can NOT let unions, every time we look the other way when times are good, stack up pension and health benefits for their members via contracts. Utilize current year funding for all these programs, through 401k’s, savings plans, and current year medical reimbursements instead. If you can’t afford it, don’t spend it.
    5. Eliminate school unions, as they are the biggest impediment to improving the dismal state of our education system. Start a “parents union” and demand more and better education for our children. This is an investment in our future.   

    If the cause of our economic problems was Wall Street, or banks, or “the 1%”, then why did the Socialist Europeans also have the same issue with overspending/overleveraging? It is because there was a global glut of savings. It was a supply issue. Go “Occupy a Desk” – spend more time working and less time complaining and using the Mac-book and iPhone your parents bought you!

    Realize it is folly to “design” a new capitalist system. A really smart individual, or small group of extra smart individuals, cannot come up with a better or more efficient system than the market can. The market is democratic, with more votes being cast by the most productive members of the market, and less votes cast by the least productive.

    Realize that change is the only constant. Markets go up and down, so controlling them is folly. The future is for the prepared, open minded, and the educated. Stop believing the BS the liberal media is feeding you.

    • Modavations

      To quote Herr Carville it’s the spending stupid.To quote Eisenhower,beware the social services industrial complex

      • Anonymous

        Your such a jester.

        • Modavations

          Don’t tell me you actually laughed Wrong Side

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Simplistic, and VERY wrong! 
         ALL these points have been refuted MANY times!

      • Jason Moser

        Refuted? Where? 

        In Cuba? In Venezuela? In the former Soviet Union?Actually, the market IS simple. Get out of the way and it will grow. It needs freedom of markets, capital, and labor. Regulate it and it doesn’t grow. Unionize it and it won’t be productive or grow. Tax it, and it won’t grow. You really think the government knows better how to spend my money than I do or you do? If you believe this then give them all your money.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Refuted here, on the On Point comment board, over several months.
             I won’t try to bring them  all up, and I’m sure not going to go back and cut and paste them.
             Before people start taking regulations off of polluters, they need to go live in the worst pollution of that industry.  MANY don’t know what they are talking about, but still take the corporate side! 
             I agree that there are some regulations, and government offices that need to go, someway, and someday.  President Obama is in that process, now.  I hope it is done the best way possible.
             Many independent studies have shown union members to be productive enough to be more economical, actually , than non-union competition!
             Because union members tend to feel more cohesive, we teach our members how to do the job right, the first time, usually.
             Company execs are less likely to fire productive workers, when  they’ve had a bad day, week, or temporary personal problem.
             Unions are far less likely to endure sexual harassment, which cuts productivity, too!

          • Jason Moser

            I’m glad to hear there are some unions that are productive somewhere. But we’re measuring union member productivity at 66% of non-unions members here for blue collar jobs in Chicago. And they make 150% to 170% more money versus non-union workers.
            University of Chicago (UIC) has lots of sleeping building maintenance workers (that can’t be fired) in the steam tunnels below the campus. We know strong unions are associated with poor education systems nationwide, and worldwide. We’re going broke here in Illinois due to union handouts, corruption, pension fiascoes, high unemployment and too high tax rates. I know unions don’t work here in Illinois. Why should I believe they work in another state?

      • Modavations

        Very right Jason.His idea of refutation is a sign off by “Move On”.This is a most delusional fellow as you will soon learn.By the way,go to the very first post of the day.Terry considers any one whom is not a communist socialist to be a traitor

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Since your ‘chemicals’ made that accusation, they need to check out that post, to see how your ‘chemicals’ distort things?

  • Jason Moser

    Government Services? Someone PLEASE share with me an efficiently run government service that can’t be duplicated in the private sector at a lower cost…these *holes in government want to make fun of private sector accounting scandals??? Let’s talk about their accounting chicanery.

    • Ray in VT

      I think that the overhead costs for either medicare or medicaid are somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-3% versus something like 16-18% in the private sector, because the government programs don’t need to pay larger private sector salaries or return dividends to stockholders.  And the reason that medicare was conceived in the first place was that the private sector wasn’t offering adequate or affordable coverage for older people, because older people get sicker more often, and paying out benefits hurts the bottom line.

       

      • Jason Moser

        Please refer to my comment on accounting; the administrative costs are so much lower for Medicare because these administrative costs are borne upon the physicians. Ask your doctor how much paperwork they have to fill out for Medicare patients, that is, if they still service Medicare patients. And what about the cost of interest, and service charges that they have to bear while they wait for their payments?

        Many also argue that Medicare recipients also have typically much large insurance claims, since they are older, sicker, and consume many more of our health care dollars. So we are spreading huge medical costs over a smaller set of administrators. Comparing administrative costs as a percentage of total claims may be the wrong metric. The correct metric may be the cost per patient, which by comparison, was $509 per patient for Medicare, versus $453 for private insurance in 2005.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Those same costs to doctors about insurance claims?
             EACH insurance company has its own list of codes for proceedures, very detailed, that differs from each other insurance company’s codes!  If a doctor makes a small mistake in filing codes, doctor loses!
            WHY?

          • Jason Moser

            Those costs are already accounted for in the numbers above. And private insurance is still less expensive per claim than Medicare.

  • Jason Moser

    Proposal for the tax code: Change charity contributions from a DEDUCTION to a TAX CREDIT. I’ll feel much better if 100% of my taxes went to a charities to provide services to those who are really needy, versus those who are politically connected.

  • David

    To the On Point Staff – Hi.  I was a caller (from Williamstown, MA) who came on the air and said “Good Morning” – arrrgh!  All the more frustrating that I had “Hi Tom” in BIG letters written at the top of my note pad.  The wait was long, though, and I was reading something for work when suddenly Tom went to the phone lines and I was on.  You might advise callers in the future to not multi-task if possible, or at least not to do so if Tom is likely to take their call momentarily.  I always had thought, “How difficult is it for someone to come on the air and follow directions and simply not say ‘Good Morning’? and lo and behold, I’m now one of that dubiously distinguished group!  Again, sorry :-)

    • Glenn Koenig

      I don’t know why they are so particular about this.  When it’s run again in the evening, everyone knows it already aired.  People say “Good Morning” on the Diane Rehm show in DC all the time and no one worries about it.  We hear it here on WBUR in the evening and it doesn’t sound strange.
      So don’t feel badly.  It’s an easy mistake to make.

    • Modavations

      I always thought the hardest part was Tom’s going ummmhummm,ummmmhummmm

    • Terry Tree Tree

      You’re NOT the first, David, nor the only one, obvioulsy!  It is difficult, when you don’t know when you’ll be on.  Trying to keep up with where the discussion is going, so you don’t say something that was just said, is a distraction too.

  • Ray in VT

    Hello, Modavations.  Is there something else that you would prefer to be called?  I do prefer Raymundo to Mean Streets by the way.  My college roommate called me Raymundo.  I’ll also respond to Mondo or Mo.

    Anyways, I did see your question further down the list, but I didn’t get around to answering it.  I haven’t read any of Rand’s fiction.  I don’t read much fiction, and I’m not inclined to give her a shot.  I’ll be honest, partly it’s due to my distaste for her philosophy, but also I’m much more of a sci-fi guy to be honest.  I’ve read snipets of her non-fiction, and there was a recent biography that came out that I actually wanted to read.  I also heard a pretty extensive interview with one of the guys from the Ayn Rand Institute a year or two ago.  I have to say that what I know of her philosophy and outlook just don’t jive with how I was raised and what my experiences tell me about people and how the world works.

    I know at times I trash her, and sometimes that has been just to get a rise out of you, or someone else, after some statement that I found particularly off base, but it also does come from a fundamental disagreement regarding worldview.

    • Modavations

      Read Atlas Shrugged.It’s a story and in my opinion,beautiful literature.You’ll pour through it.Raymundo!!!

      • Ray in VT

        I was reading a blog the other day by a guy who was talking about Atlas Shrugged.  He said that he liked the story.  He said that there was a 60ish page speech by Gault that was basically distillation of objectivism, and he thought that it took away from the story.

        Like I said, I read very little fiction.  I’m currently working on John Demos’ The Enemy Within, a book about the St. Albans Raid and a very general history of Europe.  Between work and family I don’t get a lot of free time, though.  Speaking of which, I have to wrap things up here at work and go home.  Goodnight.

  • Modavations

    The Egyptian hostages are now formally charged.When the President was asked what he’ll do,he said sternly,I’m forming a commitee

  • Modavations

    When asked about Syria and what he proposed to do,the President said.After my Egyptian commitee is done,I’m going to have them break into study groups and get back to me.

  • Modavations

    When Pres.Obama was asked about the rapidly deteriorating security condition in Iraq,the Pres.said,I’m putting Code Warrior Mark and his bloodthirsty poodle,Black Fang on the job

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Moda’s chemical past, causing Delusions of Grandeur, and hallucinations?

      • Modavations

        Somedays it’s a drag having to defend the communists.All alone bleating,bleating away as your world views are exposed for the utter failures they’ve been.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          You have been defending communists?  Why?
             I’m not going to ask if you’re stating you’re in drag, because I don’t want the answer.

      • Jason Moser

        Why the personal attacks? Keep to the issues.

        • Modavations

          He’s a stalker and he wanted war.Now he’s got war

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Compare Moda’s and my comment history?  Warning,; it goes back for months.  See who you think meets your idea of stalker, more?
             My apologies for inviting you into it, but I’d rather you not judge on just a few days.
             Although the last few ARE fairly representative?

  • Modavations

    In the Boston Globe business section  is a story about Ma.Health Ins..The jist was, if you think it’s expensive now,you ain’t see sh-t.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, that’s the market based system that we have, what did you expect.

      • Jason Moser

        No, I think the reference from Modavations was that Obama Care is going to get a LOT more expensive!

        That is because it will go from state regulated “market based” to a highly regulated federal “market based” under Obama Care.

  • http://profiles.google.com/felix.scotfl2 Felix Scott

    We got through this day with our sanity. It is almost over. I have to ask myself how did I work day in and day out on that crazy job for decades. I needed the money to stay alive. I worked one day at a time and that turned into a week. The weeks turned into months and the months turned into years. The years turned into decades. Now I really do not have that much longer to live. By 2035 I will be dead anyway. Now my son is going to have a hard time though. He is only 22. I am holding on until my change has come. I held on and it was time to retire. I want to keep going but it is time to rest for me. My body can’t handle the stress of a day to day job anymore. I used to think that people in Europe were living well and better than us. They took vacations and went on siesta in the middle of the day for a couple of hours but the government was over spending and the banks were financing their spending. Now the government and the banks are out of money. They were fooling us all the time. We have been kicking the can down the road to reduce misery with each president until George Bush Jr. He increased the misery index. Now what are we supposed to do? There is no place to kick the can.        

    • Jason Moser

      The answer is pay your way today, with today’s money. Stop living lavishly (I’m not saying YOU are, but others) and start paying for today’s bills with today’s dollars. No more pension/social security/medicare funny business, with it’s funny accounting. 

      We need to get back to what the older generations did, which is sacrifice today to make this world a better place for our kids and their kids…stop living it up on their dime!

      • Fredlinskip

         Just show our kids and their kids that “shining beacon of democracy on the hill” that is Iraq-
        they will then clearly understand our generations profound wisdom of spending so much of our nation’s treasure, and the burden of their stifling debt.

        • Jason Moser

          I agree, I’m dubious as to whether or not our blood and treasure was worth it. (No offense to any service members intended!) I do know I’d rather have the fighting happening on the other side of the globe rather than here at home.

          • Fredlinskip

            There were no terrorists in Iraq before we occupied that country (unless you want to debate that Sadaam himself was terrorist). At that point, anyone who resisted was deemed terrorist.

          • Jason Moser

            I think that was the strategy. Do you remember how we left the borders there open and undefended initially? The point was to let terrorists in, then close the borders, and then let eliminate them inside Iraq. A convenient place to meet their maker, versus say, coming to meet their maker via the US.

      • TFRX

        Nice to know you’re not trying to hide it, conflating SS, Medicare and pensions like that.

        BTW, the older generation that had Social Security, or the one before that with sky-high elderly poverty?

        • Jason Moser

          The original purpose of SS was to provide relief for elderly poverty. NOW it has become the default retirement program for everyone: poor, middle, and the rich. There should be a program to help the poor, sick, elderly, but not anyone else, and it should be paid out of current tax revenues only.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Pensions were paid into, by the workers that expected to use pensions to retire!
           Social Security was paid into, by the hourly pay of workers that expected to use it in retirement!
           The ‘funny business’, was done by executives, that mis-invested, mis-handled, ‘borrowed’ from, and otherwise screwed over those workers!  MANY of those ‘executives’, were elected officials!

        • Modavations

          Bleat 2The Greedy Rich did it

        • Jason Moser

          The pensions are not being paid into today. Maybe we used to fund pensions at normal levels in prior years. The public sector is severely underpaying per the actuarial guidelines (say 80% funding level). 
          This leaves pension obligations outstanding for future generations. The private companies are subject to more stringent rules and thus are making the payments, or realizing the folly of this and going to 401k’s while freezing the benefits of pensions for those who haven’t retired yet.  

          Social Security is being paid for out of current workers salary, into retired workers salaries. Very soon, there won’t be enough money available from the current workers to meet these obligations, and voila, we need to borrow via 10 or 30 year bonds to meet these obligations. And thus, my kids pay.
          And Medicare is much worse than SS due to escalating costs!!
          Yes, that’s my point, the funny business is being carried on by elected officials.

        • Modavations

          Bleat #2 
          The Greedy Rich did it

  • http://twitter.com/TongoRad TongoRad

    What a lost opportunity for an expanded discussion. Tom, you should have been bold enough to include such voices as Michael Hudson and Richard Wolff instead of the establishment/conservative talking heads included on this show.
    You featured a Wall Street guy and a shill from the Libertarian Cato institute. Where was the debate? Where were the alternative viewpoints?

    • Still Here

      No doubt, the echo chamber was not up to par today.  Tom more guests who think like we do please!

  • Generalp2

    All your guests are missing the real point about the economy. The middle class has been wiped out by automation, the Internet, and the Ihone (and whatever comes next). Middle class work is what automation has taken over. Those are the jobs that have disappeared. After the loss of manufacturing and call center jobs to offshore, the latest job lost will destroy the middle class as we knew it. Middle clad jobs are never coming back.

    • Jason Moser

      Go visit Indiana. See them cranking out machine parts, all middle class workers here, 3 shifts a day, 6 or 7 days a week. Extremely productive workforces working with highly automated equipment.

      The issue is we have to compete. We can no longer be lazy and put up trade barriers to protect the lazy. We have to educate and innovate and work hard and compete. Other countries like Korea, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong had next to zero natural resources, next to zero capital, but managed to educate and work hard to build up their countries. Their parents may have lived in huts with mud floors, but through hard work (not hand outs) and education, they have become some of the most productive nations in the world. There’s no reason our kids can’t do the same. Jobs and careers may end, but we have to reinvent and retrain to build up our human capital again.

      • Anonymous

        Nice movie script. From the end of the war to the end of 1953, the U.S. provided grants and
        credits amounting to $5.9 billion to Asian countries, especially
        China/Taiwan ($1.051 billion), India ($255 million), Indonesia ($215
        million), Japan ($2.44 billion), South Korea ($894 million), Pakistan
        ($98 million) and the Philippines ($803 million).  It was not the Marshall plan but it helped them to rebuild and retool. Before WW2 Japan was an industrial powerhouse, one of the reason they were able to dominate most of Asia from the mid 20′s to the mid 40′s.

        By the way both Japan, Korea and China had very sophisticated societies that were more advanced than our European ancestors who were living in huts.

        • Jason Moser

          Sure we helped them out way back then. But many of my friends came from these countries, much later than 1970, and they grew up in huts with mud floors. Now they are engineers, movie producers, scientists, business managers. These countries saved and invested productively for many years after we got them started, and this and their hard work got them to where they are today.

    • Marc Lamphier

      The same argument has been made for 2 centuries now, and hasn’t proven true. Industrialization / automation may take away jobs in the short-term, but also makes goods cheaper and frees up capital and labor for new industries in the long term. If the net effect of mechanization was to impoverish the working class, then surely our standard of living today would be worse than it was in the 19th century.

    • Dhall322004

       DRILL BABY, DRILL!!!  THIS IS THE NEXT BOOM, THAT A CERTAIN GROUP OF PEOPLE ARE NOT ALLOWING!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Capped and plugged oil wells, in East Tennessee are plentiful!  WHY?
           Are they as plentiful elsewhere?

        • Modavations

          Bleat E #
          The Water table,the water table

      • Terry Tree Tree

        The earthquakes in Oklahoma, and Ohio, both oil and gas-drilling areas for over a hundred years, doesn’t give you thought for caution?
           For LESS than the price of two oil wells, you could buy a Tesla Roadster, and Wind-Turbines, and Solar Panels, to power it, and your house?

        • Modavations

          Environmental Ble
          The Friggin Fackin did itat E 2-

        • Jason Moser

          Deep well injection has been going on for like 100 years at hundreds of sites…we have what 2 sites with low intensity earthquakes? All this means is that geological conditions don’t support deep well injection EVERYWHERE. Doesn’t mean we should stop drilling.
          Dude, with your socialist/communist agenda, there won’t be any money left over for the masses to make these sort of purchases. You’ll have to be a party elite to be GREEN.

  • Fredlinskip

    Looking at America as a big business institution as GOP does,
    I can understand why GOP didn’t wish to fund an expensive (to our
    debt) short-term stimulus program at start of Obama’s term. America should have been “allowed to fail”, by continuing the same stagnant GOP policy that brought
    about steady job loss for 12 straight months.
    A 2nd Great Depression could then have brought about the best in all of us and perhaps we might have
    put petty partisanship aside.

    As it was we got 12 straight months of job growth.

    Ever since the advent of Reagan’s “voodoo economics”, American  economy has been consistently “bailed out” by the likes of China.
       Let’s see, Reagan tripled our national debt, Bush doubled it. In both instances the majority of this debt was accrued during times of relative economic prosperity, when one might have thought it might occur to us to pay down our debt and the crippling interest payments on it.

    But only Democratic administrations have had any success at balancing our budget and bringing down our debt.

    So much for “conservatism”.

    Bring back another GOP administration- we haven’t shot ourselves in the foot quite enough times yet to be completely crippled.

    • Jason Moser

      And Obama is on track in just one 4 year term to add as much national debt as was added under 8 years under Bush.

      Best part about Clinton was he was too busy with an intern to interfere with the booming PC and internet revolution. Oh, that and the GOP took over both houses of congress in 1994 which resulted in reducing the deficit.The best Obama policies seem to be the ones he continued from Bush’s term.But I like your line of thought. We are hoping in Illinois now that we will vote in so many democrats in the house, senate, and governors mansion, and run up so much debt, and put so little money into pension funds, and spend so much public money, and raise sales taxes to the highest in the country, and have so many kickbacks and corruption scandals, and create more sweetheart union deals, and run so many businesses out of the state, that we will remember in the future how dumb we were, so we don’t repeat these mistakes again. But boy are we slow learners, so unfortunately we’ll need to lock up several more governors before we get it. 

      I’m not a fan of any parties’ deficit spending. 

      We are all shooting ourselves in the foot when we think putting our faith in any president or any party will fix our society’s problems. 

      • Fredlinskip

         Disagree with your views, but appreciate your passion.
        I’ll have to continue this another time.
        Not being wealthy, I need to get some sleep so as to get back to grindstone in AM.

        Later

      • TomK in Boston

        Please, spare me the deficit hysteria. It’s primary use is to scare people into letting the elites steal SS and medicare.The debt that was “created” under Obama was primarily due to the Bush tax cuts and the ongoing Bush wars and the recession itself, which was caused by deregulation of the bankers.

        • JMO

          And SS and Medicare are stealing money from my kids and grand kids…

          No one that is almost old enough to qualify wants to fix these programs, they are hoping they can fly into the system (regardless of income) and soak up all the money.

          TomK, I bet the Union members, public employees and pensioners in Greece thought the deficit there was “hysteria” too. Now look what is happening.

  • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

    Wow, Tom really showed his true colors here by actively debating his free market oriented guests. He’s clearly a big-government guy. 

    • Tom

      Because he debated them?

      • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

        There’s a big difference between playing devil’s advocate and the way Tom combatively espoused his own point of view and rejected that of the guests. You will never hear Tom challenge establishment, left-leaning guests in this way.

        • Still Here

          Precisely.
          I’ll never forget his rush to judgment regarding Tucson and how quickly he forgot the lessons he said should be drawn from the event.  His agenda wins out every time.

        • Fredlinskip

           Your right- if you wanted to hear Rush’s take on “reality”, you probably tuned in to the wrong show.

          • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

            It’s “you’re” not “your”. I despise Limbaugh, but at least he doesn’t put on the pretense of being objective.

    • Captnboston

       Tom was pwn’d

      • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

        I must agree. I don’t think he’s accustomed to hearing well-grounded challenges to the establishment/prevailing wisdom that NPR regurgitates.

        • tunnelman

          Are you really saying that these two guests were “challenging establishment wisdom?” The Planet Money guy might as well have been a walking, paid advertisement for Wall Street…

          • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

            The prevailing wisdom I typically hear on NPR is that the financial crisis was caused mainly by greedy Wall St. fat cats that tricked the noble government regulators. On the other hand, retrograde Republicans often blame the entire mess on Fannie and Freddie. It’s refreshing to hear guests point out the central role of our central bank, which I believe deserves the greatest share of the blame.

    • Fredlinskip

      In your world, is anyone who questions the benefits of Plutocracy “a big government guy”?

      • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

        How did the guests promote “plutocracy”? In the show I was listening to, the guests pointed out how the Fed and government regulators contributed to the economic meltdown of 2008, and Tom refused to concede the point.

  • http://joeylondon.com/ JL

    There is a great description of these issues in the fun, quick read ‘The 2012 Debates’ available at Amazon. The novel’s main character debates for all political parties, taking all sides of the issue. An easy way to understand the predicament of the American economy.

  • Tom

    These were really low-quality, blowhard guests. These sorts of blowfests don’t really do much to advance anyone’s debate (well, maybe the various debates posted in the Comments section).

    Please, invite some thinkers on: Jeremy Grantham, for starters…

    • Bimal757

      I fully agree with your views these were really low quality, blow hard guests.

  • Dan

    The Misery Index doesn’t seem like a very accurate gauge of anything. First off, it combines two distinct statistics that really shouldn’t be added together (inflation can increase as employment increases due to accelerated growth/demand). In addition, Reagan’s average misery index figure was over 12, which is higher than the misery index at any time so far in the Obama administration. So that would mean that as much as Reagan reduced the misery index during his two terms and as bad as things have been economically the past couple of years, it was much worse during the time when Reagan was in office? 

    Ask Keith Law of ESPN how he feels about OPS (a common baseball “statistic” that adds together batting average and slugging percentage) and that’s how the misery index should be assessed. 

    • Captnboston

      The Misery index seems to correlate to crime, “In fact, the correlation is so strong that the two can be said to be cointegrated, and stronger than correlation with either the unemployment rate or inflation rate alone” from wikipedia. Reagan finished the job strong and had a good rating when he left after cleaning up Carter’s mess.

  • Émile

    Great! Two supply-side economists who continue to peddle the snake oil. Tom, how about inviting an economist who is not part of the mainstream. I would love to hear an economist from an Heterodox school (Marxian, Sraffian, Post-Keynesians, etc).

  • tunnelman

    I agree with the previous comment. These economists are basically trying to push the same old thinking that got us here in the first place. The sunny-side guy doesn’t even no how to define capitalism and the gloomy guy doesn’t understand that lack of regulation brought about the recent great recession… One sounds like a used car salesman and the other sounds like Chomsky (minus the wit and charm)…
    Next time get some guys who, 1) aren’t complete spokesmen for the hyper-capitalism that got us in to this mess; 2) are interesting to listen to…

ONPOINT
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Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

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U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

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This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

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