• on a comment on Here Come the Witch Hunts over 3 years ago

    no. I will not.

    I've busted my backside before only to get stabbed in the back once my favorite politicians get into office. You think it's going to get any better if corporate donors switch their donations from one corrupt politician to another corrupt politician?

    So long as the rules of the system don't change (campaign finance reform, lobbyist access, etc), it's not going to help.

    And btw, I dared to believe that Obama would try to change the system, with his anti-lobbyist, pro-transparency, change-the-system-talk, only to see him cut deals with lobbyists behind closed doors over and over and over.

    And I've seen formerly great men like Dodd screweing over the country so they can land cushy high-paid jobs with their chosen industry once they get out of office .

    I'm done with the whole thing. It's rotten to it's core.

  • on a comment on Here Come the Witch Hunts over 3 years ago

    And from what I've seen, the people who have been really struggling in this economy, like myself or Charles Lemos, are the very ones who have becomed the most disillusioned with the Obama Administration's handling of the economy.

    He's simply not fighting for us, and our lives are being flushed down the toilet. It's all the more galling because some of us fought for him.

    Personally, I raised money from family and friends for a place to stay in Reno, NV during the fall of '08 to volunteer for Obama's "Voter Protection Program". yippee.

    While the election-night Democratic party in Reno was pretty great, and Obama's victory speech brought me to tears, all I've gotten besides that is Obama's half-measures and a ruined life.

    Charles has posted before about the dispair he's felt from long-term unemployment, and I can tell you that his feelings are not unique. It really, truely messes people up.

  • on a comment on Here Come the Witch Hunts over 3 years ago

    Actually, I do.

    I have been unemployed since the summer of '08 when I graduated from a top-tier law school, with only a few temp jobs here and there and $150k in student debt, most of which is deferred and racking up even more debt, but with the private loan portion already coming out of deferrment.

    I'm completely screwed, and while I understand that Obama didn't cause this mess, my life has gotten far, far worse since I worked on his campaign, and a few bones thrown my way in 2014 isn't helping me.

    But the bankers are doing fine so I guess Obama's done a great job.

  • comment on a post Here Come the Witch Hunts over 3 years ago

    The good:

    if there's only small stuff (which I think is likely), the GOP will be overplaying their hand and piss off a lot of Americans with wasting time and playing partisan games during a continuing economic depression. We all know that Clinton was really popular by the end of his time in office despite the witch hunts.

    If they happen to find some smoking gun where Obama did something REALLY bad, then screw Obama anyways. He would deserve whatever he got at that point.

    The Bad:

    Obviously, the whole thing would be horrible for the country, whether they find stuff or not. Giant time-waster when we need to fix problems, deligitimizing government even more, effectively shutting down government, etc.

    This might be mitigated somewhat by the facts that:

    a) the government isn't going to get anything done with anyway with dividing government and hyper-partisanship, so that part of it might not be much of a loss, and

    b) what little that might get done with a GOP Congress and Obama as president would probably be stuff we progressives don't like (think something like Clinton's Wellfare Reform, but maybe Social Security reform or something like that).

  • Biden just lacks the charisma required for his office

    When was the last time we had a charismatic Veep?

    Surely not the last vice president. Not Gore, Quayle, or GHWB.

  • I understand being sick of progressives complaining, but Charles' post seemed comprehensive, fair, intelligent and pretty detailed given the medium.

    This wasn't just some normal rant that many commenter's (including myself) have posted on here.

    And identifying problems are the first step to fixing them and not repeating mistakes.

  • this is an extremely important point, and people like Krugman keep yelling about it...but nobody seems to be listening.

  • his statements are necessitated by his right-wing-randian-utopian world view where if something bad or good happens to you, it's because of your actions and not because of circumstances outside of your control.

  • maybe this is a good time to explain the difference between determinants of the NAIRU — the minimum rate of unemployment consistent with a stable inflation rate — and the determinants of the unemployment rate at a point in time.

    So: there are limits to how hot you can run the economy without inflationary problems.

    This is usually expressed in terms of a non-accelerating-inflation unemployment rate; yes, there are some questions about whether the concept is quite right, especially at very low inflation, but that’s another issue.

    Everyone agrees that really generous unemployment benefits, by reducing the incentive to seek jobs, can raise the NAIRU; that is, set limits to how far down you can push unemployment without running into inflation problems.

    But in case you haven’t noticed, that’s not the problem constraining job growth in America right now. Wage growth is declining, not rising, and so is overall inflation. A wage-price spiral looks like a distant dream.

    What’s limiting employment now is lack of demand for the things workers produce. Their incentives to seek work are, for now, irrelevant. That’s why comments by the likes of Sen. Kyl are so boneheaded — anyone who thinks that high unemployment in the first quarter of 2010 has anything to do with workers getting excessively generous benefits must not get out much.

    And the truth is that unemployment benefits are a good, quick, administratively easy way to increase demand, which is what we really need.

    So right now they have the effect of reducing unemployment.


  • There's been a bunch of studies showing that people spend just about all of their unemployment benefits, and it makes logical sense as well.That money goes to businesses providing goods and services that people want.

    Since we are facing a problem with demand, we need to put money into things where it gets spent. Unemployment benefits are a great example of that.

    And as an unemployed person right now, I can say a big 'ole "F-you" for saying that unemployment benefits are partly to blame for high unemployment. I can tell you first hand that it is not. The problem is a lack of hiring and too many job seekers for the positions available. 

    It simply doesn't make sense to blame unemployment benefits when job postings routinely get hundres of resumes.

    You don't mention whether Summers was basing it on any sort of current research, and even if he was, the situation has changed a lot since the summer of '08, you know.

    When there are not even close to enough jobs to go around, it doesn't matter if people on benefits are making it so a job posting on Craigslist gets 300 resumes or 400 (and I dispute that it does that in the first place). 

  • the stimulus helped - just not enough because it wasn't big enough and focused on the wrong things (i.e. 1/3 tax cuts)

    Tax cuts, particularly for the very wealthy, are not very stimulative for the costs. Too much of the extra money is saved instead of spent.

    If we truely wanted to help the economy, we would let the tax cuts expire (especially for the very wealthy!) and use that money for things like unemployment benefits, food stamps and building infrastructure.

  • comment on a post The promise of a primary for Obama over 3 years ago

    How did you all like the newest middle finger from the White House pointed at the Left and women (and this time, also senior citizens) with their vote of confidence for Simpson?

  • comment on a post The promise of a primary for Obama over 3 years ago

    I've lost all faith that we can get anything better in the primaries.

    I didn't vote for Clinton in large part because she is a corporate hack. So instead I voted for an alternative....who ended up being a corporate hack. We don't get anywhere trading one for another.

    I'm now ready to try "if you Dems keep screwing progressives specifically and the country in general, you are going to be out of a job completely." Probably won't ever help, but I think the ONLY chance we have at this point is if they feel like they have to make us happy to get us to vote for them instead of the GOP.

    Not a good situation, for sure. The GOP is downright scary-crazy. But I don't see the situation ever changing if the Dems continue think our votes are automatic and that they just have to pander to the center-right to get elected.


  • comment on a post Mark Zandi on Unemployment over 3 years ago

    Obama should have listened to Romer/Krugman/Stiglitz instead of that idiot Larry Summers re: the stimulus

  • on a comment on I ♥ the 90s over 3 years ago

    I agree to some extent.

    In fact, perhaps the biggest dissapointment I've had with Obama is that he hasn't changed the public discourse like I thought he would.

    He praised Reagan for doing it, and said that's why Reagan was a transformative president. I thought Obama was going to do that like Reagan, but for good causes. For instance, I thought he would be able to make a better case for smart, sensible, good government, and why it is needed. He's done a poor job on that.

    Meanwhile, He steals Boehner's talking points and crows about the tax cuts he signed into law.


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