As You See It: Sept. 26, 2010

As You See It: Sept. 26, 2010

There are 35 comments on the Santa Cruz Sentinel story from Sep 26, 2010, titled As You See It: Sept. 26, 2010. In it, Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that:

Why is it that Americans are so impatient with the economic recovery? Since taking office in January 2009, Obama has been able to halt and turned the corner on a major economic collapse in the biggest financial disaster since the Great Depression.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Santa Cruz Sentinel.

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“Where Did All the Money Go?”

Since: Sep 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#24 Sep 26, 2010
csbsanta cruz wrote:
Nice link. But, do you actually know what that chart is telling you? Really?

What Does the Obama Job Chart Really Mean?
http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/2010/02/...
csbsanta cruz

Santa Cruz, CA

#25 Sep 26, 2010
Soquel by the Creek wrote:
<quoted text>
Nice link. But, do you actually know what that chart is telling you? Really?
What Does the Obama Job Chart Really Mean?
http://soquelbythecreek.blogspot.com/2010/02/...
Yes it means that the rate of the loss of jobs was insane when Obama took office. I understand that it is the change in loss. That is the huge ship that needed turning around. To say that the job situation has not gotten better under this administration is not true. I'm just saying the hole was so big it is hard to grasp how far we have come.
James Anderson Merritt

Santa Cruz, CA

#26 Sep 26, 2010
brad wrote:
The so-called first world is not reproducing fast enough to replace it's self... I'm not saying there is not a population problem, especially in the third world (or third world emigrants), but I have yet to hear any solution that is not tyrannical.
The non-tyrannical solution is suggested by your own words. The answer is to improve the living standards of third-world people to the point where they consider themselves relatively comfortable; they will join the "first world" people in being more choosy about reproduction. This is not mere speculation; it has been borne out in practice.

Which conditions will bring the second- and third- world populations to a "first world" standard of living most quickly? For all its faults, economic freedom -- free trade, free enterprise -- can and will do this, as it has, over and over again, for centuries.

Sadly, governments and those who run and depend on them try to "harness" economic freedom to keep themselves in power and benefit their cronies. This is the source of much evil and misery in the world. Our own government is a flagrant offender, and has been for a long time. We need to correct that situation, even if the effects of our corrective attempts will only be temporary. November is coming. Please use your vote wisely.
James Anderson Merritt

Santa Cruz, CA

#28 Sep 26, 2010
Not enough wrote:
If the entire illegal immigration issue suddenly vanished, we would still have almost all of the problems we have now.
And by the same token, if all the substantive problems now blamed on (or said to be worsened by) illegal immigration were to disappear tomorrow, we would probably still have people complaining about "illegals," due to xenophobia, racial/ethnic animosity, or failure to recognize one's own failings and needing to project them onto others.

We could get rid of most of the "illegal immigration" problems by doing three things:

1. End welfare entitlements (including "free" health care and education) and require EVERYONE to either pay the full freight for himself/herself and dependents, or find a charitable sponsor (NOT the government) to do so.

2. End the Drug War.

3. Streamline immigration/naturalization bureaucracy so that peaceful people who are no danger to others (e.g., via disease or criminal behavior), can move back and forth across the borders with minimum difficulty or imposition without needing to become citizens; also that those who wish to become citizens face minimum necessary obstacles to attaining that status.

We have already seen that immigration, legal and illegal, is powerfully "regulated" by economic conditions. People come here primarily for the opportunities, and to some extent for the freebies. Eliminate the freebies, maximize the economic opportunities, and make it easy for visitors (whether long- or short-term) to enter the country legally, and the "illegal" problem will evaporate.

“Where Did All the Money Go?”

Since: Sep 08

Santa Cruz, CA

#29 Sep 26, 2010
csbsanta cruz wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes it means that the rate of the loss of jobs was insane when Obama took office. I understand that it is the change in loss. That is the huge ship that needed turning around. To say that the job situation has not gotten better under this administration is not true. I'm just saying the hole was so big it is hard to grasp how far we have come.
One of the first rules of science and statistics is that correlation does not imply causation. The timing looks great on a chart supporting the President but it does not mean that the President's policies actually caused the change. Take a moment and actually look at the timing on the chart. The jobs numbers improve in February as President Obama is sworn into office--before the Stimulus bill spent its first dollar. Despite the President's obvious messianic effect at the time, I think there may have been other possible influences on the jobs number.

Job losses were already heavy up until the time they started to slow. Was the slowing actually due to a policy change or because businesses had completed most of their layoffs in response to the economic situation?
http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-d...

While I personally think that the Stimulus bill was poorly conceived and implemented--both from an economics and a political point of view--I think it did supply a certain "shock and awe" effect for the jobs picture.

Time will tell whether the Stimulus bill was the best course of action. Current data seems to indicate otherwise but the President could be right when he says that it could be worse.
brad

Capitola, CA

#30 Sep 26, 2010
Too much wrote:
I understand it is too much to ask for self-control.
You don't need to go to a third world country to see the consequences of overpopulation and poverty. There are pockets of immense poverty throughout the U.S. African American, white, Latino and Native American populations suffer a great deal because they don't have access to medical care, employment, etc.
Enforcing strict guidelines for population reduction doesn't seem too harsh when you witness the dim existence of so many individuals, right here in the U.S. The U.S. population has grown by more than 205 million people during the past century. The world did just fine 100 years ago with fewer individuals.
<quoted text>
I'm sorry but your statement about population growth in the US makes no sense at all. The vast majority of the population growth in the United States is from immigration, not parents having children. Any poverty in the US does not come from increasing population, but from an institutional class system and illegal immigration. I won't argue possible cures, but reducing population in the US would not be the top choice, maybe 25th or so. But don't worry, because Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation has figured out a way to control populations with vaccines. I can hardly wait..
Forgot One Thing

Soquel, CA

#32 Sep 26, 2010
James Anderson Merritt wrote:
<quoted text>
The non-tyrannical solution is suggested by your own words. The answer is to improve the living standards of third-world people to the point where they consider themselves relatively comfortable; they will join the "first world" people in being more choosy about reproduction. This is not mere speculation; it has been borne out in practice.
Which conditions will bring the second- and third- world populations to a "first world" standard of living most quickly? For all its faults, economic freedom -- free trade, free enterprise -- can and will do this, as it has, over and over again, for centuries.
Sadly, governments and those who run and depend on them try to "harness" economic freedom to keep themselves in power and benefit their cronies. This is the source of much evil and misery in the world. Our own government is a flagrant offender, and has been for a long time. We need to correct that situation, even if the effects of our corrective attempts will only be temporary. November is coming. Please use your vote wisely.
Generally true but you forgot one thing: Economic expansion, and free markets, thrive when hereditary landowners are tossed out, and large land estates broken up, often by violent revolution.
brad

San Jose, CA

#34 Sep 26, 2010
Forgot One Thing wrote:
<quoted text>
Generally true but you forgot one thing: Economic expansion, and free markets, thrive when hereditary landowners are tossed out, and large land estates broken up, often by violent revolution.
I would live to hear an example of this..
brad

San Jose, CA

#35 Sep 26, 2010
James Anderson Merritt wrote:
<quoted text>
The non-tyrannical solution is suggested by your own words. The answer is to improve the living standards of third-world people to the point where they consider themselves relatively comfortable; they will join the "first world" people in being more choosy about reproduction. This is not mere speculation; it has been borne out in practice.
Which conditions will bring the second- and third- world populations to a "first world" standard of living most quickly? For all its faults, economic freedom -- free trade, free enterprise -- can and will do this, as it has, over and over again, for centuries.
Sadly, governments and those who run and depend on them try to "harness" economic freedom to keep themselves in power and benefit their cronies. This is the source of much evil and misery in the world. Our own government is a flagrant offender, and has been for a long time. We need to correct that situation, even if the effects of our corrective attempts will only be temporary. November is coming. Please use your vote wisely.
I love the theory but I don't see it as an historical trend. By definition second world countries are communist, so their economic improvements when interjecting capitalism, is simply symptomatic of the hopelessly flawed belief in collectivism and economic planning. Most third world countries simply don't have either the resources or education to succeed in the free market. Almost all attempts to subsidize these countries into the free market have failed as their autocratic leaders intercept aid for their own usage as you said. The most obvious approach would be our CIA intervention and taking out all those oppressive governments; but that hasn't ended well either.
James Anderson Merritt

El Sobrante, CA

#36 Sep 26, 2010
Forgot One Thing wrote:
<quoted text>
Generally true but you forgot one thing: Economic expansion, and free markets, thrive when hereditary landowners are tossed out, and large land estates broken up, often by violent revolution.
If you think about it, hereditary landowners and large land estates happened because of "crony capitalism" of an earlier time. In essence, people were given "monopolies" over large tracts of land by others who used force to obtain it (or to coerce others into acknowledging their "just" claim to it). Whenever any particular group gets control of the government, they exploit the power of same to give themselves and their cronies privilege, property, and power. Those so favored become "the establishment" and are eventually supplanted or overthrown. But it all traces back to the government's power to grant and enforce monopoly. We'd be smart to reduce or eliminate that power.

Regardless, free markets can come into being and thrive, even in the presence of hereditary ownership of land and other means of production. As long as people aren't outright slaves, they will have something of value to trade, and even the most modest or seemingly trivial markets have a way of increasing freedom and raising the standards of living, much as a tree's roots can eventually split concrete pavement.
James Anderson Merritt

El Sobrante, CA

#37 Sep 26, 2010
brad wrote:
<quoted text>
I love the theory but I don't see it as an historical trend. By definition second world countries are communist, so their economic improvements when interjecting capitalism, is simply symptomatic of the hopelessly flawed belief in collectivism and economic planning. Most third world countries simply don't have either the resources or education to succeed in the free market. Almost all attempts to subsidize these countries into the free market have failed as their autocratic leaders intercept aid for their own usage as you said. The most obvious approach would be our CIA intervention and taking out all those oppressive governments; but that hasn't ended well either.
I've never seen a definition of "second world" countries that says they must be communist. In any case, when I use the term, I am thinking of milestones on a continuum of development. First-world countries tend to enjoy the highest standards of living, and that usually correlates well to the levels of economic freedom that their populations enjoy. But it isn't the case that "first world" countries are necessarily non-communist (i.e., non-collectivist) either. Look at our own country, which paradoxically tries ever harder to embrace collectivism as much of the rest of the world tries to abandon the same. Of course, we are watching our standard of living eroding, too. Our embrace of collectivism may reduce us to 2nd-world or 3rd-world status soon enough: Some would say that California is, for all practical purposes, a third-world nation that has burned through its former wealth and is now struggling to maintain its high-flying lifestyle on credit card debt.

By the way, you can't "subsidize" the rest of the world into the free market: Social welfare programs are the opposite of a free market. What is needed is disciplined avoidance of crony capitalism, and we are certainly in no position to give any other nation lessons on that.
James Anderson Merritt

El Sobrante, CA

#38 Sep 26, 2010
I think Ed Parrish is an incisive thinker, but I also think he may be trapped within the box that the government has created for him and the rest of us: There is no good reason why access to health care should be through insurance, whether provided by an employer or purchased by oneself. The situation we find ourselves in in an historical accident: The government imposed wage and price controls in a misguided attempt to control inflation at the end of WWII, and employers, desperate for a way to recruit and retain top talent when they could not legally increase compensation, pressured the government to rewrite the tax code to give favorable tax status to employer-provided health benefits. Nobody EVER thought that this was a particularly good, nevermind optimal, method for accessing health care. The employers were just attempting to make the best of a bad situation at the time. We not only carried their awkward improvisation into the future, we compounded the error on several occasions.

What we had BEFORE all the workarounds is what we should return to now: A health care system that expected people to pay for the care and products they received, with no insurance middleman. Under this system, hospital stays of even several days cost in the hundreds of dollars, rather than the tens or hundreds of thousands, as we see today. This is because the health care providers priced their products and services according to what people could afford, and because "what the patient could afford" was worked out between the patients and providers directly. Insurance was off to the side of the health care debate, where it belonged, instead of driving the bus, as it does now. Because people could access health care without insurance of any kind, and because people tended to insure against truly catastrophic situations and pay for normal, routine medical expenses out-of-pocket, premiums were kept low.
brad

San Jose, CA

#39 Sep 26, 2010
James Anderson Merritt wrote:
<quoted text>
I've never seen a definition of "second world" countries that says they must be communist. In any case, when I use the term, I am thinking of milestones on a continuum of development. First-world countries tend to enjoy the highest standards of living, and that usually correlates well to the levels of economic freedom that their populations enjoy. But it isn't the case that "first world" countries are necessarily non-communist (i.e., non-collectivist) either. Look at our own country, which paradoxically tries ever harder to embrace collectivism as much of the rest of the world tries to abandon the same. Of course, we are watching our standard of living eroding, too. Our embrace of collectivism may reduce us to 2nd-world or 3rd-world status soon enough: Some would say that California is, for all practical purposes, a third-world nation that has burned through its former wealth and is now struggling to maintain its high-flying lifestyle on credit card debt.
By the way, you can't "subsidize" the rest of the world into the free market: Social welfare programs are the opposite of a free market. What is needed is disciplined avoidance of crony capitalism, and we are certainly in no position to give any other nation lessons on that.
The history of the terms 1st 2nd 3rd world countries came out of the cold war; 1st were Democracies and aligned, 2nd was Communist and aligned, third was non-aligned. Through use 1st has come to mean economically developed and 3rd being other than. Regardless, we are in full agreement, but I don't see much hope in the development of 3rd world countries if for no other reason than the current fight over resources; the first world is very selfish. As far as "subsidize" the rest of the world into the free market, levity does not translate well in plain text.
brad

San Jose, CA

#40 Sep 26, 2010
James Anderson Merritt wrote:
I think Ed Parrish is an incisive thinker, but I also think he may be trapped within the box that the government has created for him and the rest of us: There is no good reason why access to health care should be through insurance, whether provided by an employer or purchased by oneself. The situation we find ourselves in in an historical accident: The government imposed wage and price controls in a misguided attempt to control inflation at the end of WWII, and employers, desperate for a way to recruit and retain top talent when they could not legally increase compensation, pressured the government to rewrite the tax code to give favorable tax status to employer-provided health benefits. Nobody EVER thought that this was a particularly good, nevermind optimal, method for accessing health care. The employers were just attempting to make the best of a bad situation at the time. We not only carried their awkward improvisation into the future, we compounded the error on several occasions.
What we had BEFORE all the workarounds is what we should return to now: A health care system that expected people to pay for the care and products they received, with no insurance middleman. Under this system, hospital stays of even several days cost in the hundreds of dollars, rather than the tens or hundreds of thousands, as we see today. This is because the health care providers priced their products and services according to what people could afford, and because "what the patient could afford" was worked out between the patients and providers directly. Insurance was off to the side of the health care debate, where it belonged, instead of driving the bus, as it does now. Because people could access health care without insurance of any kind, and because people tended to insure against truly catastrophic situations and pay for normal, routine medical expenses out-of-pocket, premiums were kept low.
As a related aside. Singlepayer or socialized medicine always results in an exponential increase in doctor visits and prescription use, which proves the adage,"If something is given away for free is has no value."
Skiros 14

United States

#42 Sep 28, 2010
Hmmm wrote:
<quoted text>
Gee, I don't know. You mean like the tea baggers that are funded by the Koch brothers and Murdoch? I've seen lot's of those letters repeating the same lame arguments over and over. Oh wait, that's right ... those letters are all by independent thinking patriots, it' just coincidence that they all use the exact same phrasing.
Save us from the sheeple!
-Yeh, like the letter of moveon.com and George Sorros. Both are the same. You should save yourself also!

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