Recent comments

  • Well, the good news is, Bear Sterns shareholders were virtually wiped out. They are getting less than 2% of what their shares were worth at the company's peak.

    The not so good news is this quote:

    The Fed will provide special financing to JPMorgan Chase for the deal, JPMorgan Chase said. The central bank has agreed to fund up to $30 billion of Bear Stearns' less liquid assets.

    I would like to know what risk the taxpayers' central bank signed up for here. There may be none. The Fed may simply be providing liquidity until the debts are unwound. Tough to say since the article gives no specifics. I am sure we will find out lots more in the next few days.

    I would also like to remind everyone that we are maybe 30% of the way through the bursting of the housing bubble.

    Reply to: Bear Stearns possible collapse   15 years 1 week ago
  • What roles, what constitutes a family is sociology, cultural, which is way off topic for this site.

    I'm basically requesting you start posting on economics and not sociological definitions that have more to do with sociology mores, culture. This is not a cultural website and most assuredly not a social conservative dogma site.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • article

    at $2 dollars a share!

    That's unreal! all over the weekend to avoid bankruptcy and JP Morgan isn't responsible for all of the bad debt!

    A collapse of Bear Stearns could have created a further crisis of confidence in world financial markets amid a deepening credit crunch. JPMorgan's acquisition of Bear Stearns represents roughly 1 percent of what the investment bank was worth just 16 days ago

    and the Fed set this up!

    Good god. I hope others comment on what this really means.

    Reply to: Bear Stearns possible collapse   15 years 1 week ago
  • The cost of maintaining a family is ECONOMICS.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • Firstly the topic is too broad and one will get the libertarians saying no in absolutes and probably some absolute yeses.

    I also think some assumptions are incorrect. Take for example, community colleges. While they maybe cheaper the reality is their mastery attainment bar is considered lower. That's really the issue, in the classroom.

    I know one program that does not work, which is government retraining programs. One reason is corruption. I saw a community college obtain $750k of funding to retrain people in STEM who already had a Bachelors college degree, in restaurant service. Now to give some institution that much money to retrain qualified technical professionals to be burger flippers is pathetic.

    It used to be that employers provided retraining, for increased labour mobility within their own organizations Now they want ready made skills, preferably the obtainment of those skills was also outsourced (educated abroad).

    Somehow (and I don't know how) that retraining, continual education, new skill sets have to be incentives, subsidies in the US and not dumped upon the worker in terms of costs.

    We have a huge initiative to privatize and globalize higher education, it's a trillion dollar market potentially ( right behind financials). Once again we have institutions that used to support a society being turned into private, for profit entities, not answering the needs to who is funding them in many cases (state governments, Fed) and the additional cost is dumped onto the taxpayer and the student.

    I also question this claim of market distortion for the immediate thought was corporate welfare and just how much that distorts the market.

    Then, there is real effectiveness per program. EPI
    found that living wage ordinances actually decrease the total net income because it kicks people out of the food stamp program as well as the earned income tax credit.

    So, obviously many of these subsidies need a graduated reduction, not an absolute number where then the benefit is denied.

    Take Pell Grants. Both Obama and Clinton have a to reduce paperwork for applying to financial aid, a major burden in obtaining a Pell Grant and Clinton goes further to award Pell Grants to non-traditional students. That's a fantastic idea because so often the income bar to obtain financial aid means you are dead or homeless because the income levels to qualify are much too low. Then, if one obtains a Pell, it's simply not enough to live on, yet if you work a job, wala, you no longer qualify for the Pell. A true catch-22 system.

    One thing you claim which I question is when benefits are extended to the middle class somehow they lose their effectiveness. I question that.

    But on the other hand, it appears there is little monitoring and analysis on the effectiveness of studies. There needs to be an expansion on data collecting, statistics generally and more expansion of the GAO, creation of an additional trade accountability office to analyze these programs for their actual effectiveness.

    Here's one thing I think is stuck on stupid, many of the state, federal functions, such as maintaining the food stamp program are offshore outsourced. Now, how stupid is that? Why not hire some of the people receiving food stamps, let them work from their homes to answer questions on the food stamp program and keep those taxpayer dollars within the US domestic economy?

    I'm sure if we went through each program, one by one, we will find stuck on stupid legislation and policy in most of these areas.

    So my general response is devil in the details in that the US does not enact smart policy, strategic policy or monitor effectiveness, adjust accordingly, by objective metrics.

    Ya know I cannot count the number of papers, books I've read describing problems after the fact, but strategic, policy, analysis, recommendations that have a dynamic adjustment or will actually dramatically change the status quo, those are few and far between.

    Reply to: Do Subsidies Work?   15 years 1 week ago
  • ..........these Titans Pygmies of Industry are walking dead men. The days when Industry could extract from and pollute the commons are coming to an end. Either progressive government will stop them or we will see an economic collapse due to Peak Oil or other abuses of the commons. Yet these fools sit there agitating for 18th Century economic solutions.

    The fact that the 'free market' give rise to an income distribution modeled on the power function rather than the convenient fiction perpetrated by the dumb asses in Traditional Economics that it is a bell-curve is now becoming common knowledge and folks....

    The citizenry will not be amuse to find out that they can never, ever get rich. Can never be other than poor as wealth inexorably accumulates on the right as the function soars to incredible values. Unless they win the Lottery....

    Nope it's going to be ugly as Sara Robinson's essay: When Change Is Not Enough: Seven Steps to Revolution grimly outlines.

    One interesting factoid I ran across in: The Origin of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker is that GE, established in 1878, is the oldest continuous operating business entity researchers have yet found.

    Interesting is it not that the oldest business in the world is less than half as old as the U.S. government yet feels quite comfortable in dictating what is and what is not true about the relationship between government and business.

    Perhaps these johnny-come-lately folks should shut up and listen for a change.

    They might learn something.

    Reply to: Laissez-faire ideologues hound CEO of GE   15 years 1 week ago
  • uh

    At this point I need to remind you that this is an economics site. Assumptions claiming there is only one breadwinner in the house is a cultural assumption. It is also a cultural assumption that one must stay at home to raise a family, again a cultural assumption, on what your personal beliefs of the power structure and organizational structure of a family unit should be.

    None of this has anything to do with labor economics, statistics.

    It's off topic to this site's focus.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • either the woman or the man of the house is the breadwinner. The other, remains at home to raise the family. It doesn't have to be the woman that stays at home. But since we are on the topic of women in the work place, I might remind the reader that women still earn less then men on an average.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • Wikipedia on deflation, going to the Liquidity trap article:

    John Maynard Keynes is usually seen as the inventor of the liquidity-trap theory. In his view, financial speculators fear the possibility of suffering capital losses on non-money assets and thus hold money (liquid assets) instead. These fears are most likely after a financial crisis such as that associated with the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Further, if interest rates are extremely low, there is no place for them to go but up. That implies that bond prices will likely fall in the near future, causing capital losses

    IMF forum on deflation, bond yield curves and the liquidity trap.

    I still don't understand all of this except the word bubble economy and the word pop

    Hope the links help others but I think we're in crisis 3 although I don't get how this causes deflation when foreigners own US debt and assets and the tanking dollar in a global economy.

    Reply to: The Bond Market fears Deflation   15 years 1 week ago
  • To see all of the registered users,

    and each is linked to their personal profile.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • What are you implying here? Somehow women don't want or should not have careers?

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • My Utopia would allow parents to raise their families without worrying about Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Fuel to cook their food. By spending quantity time with their offspring, they would be given a truly meaningful education in WHAT'S IMPORTANT. Once the children are raised, the parents would join the work force. The matured worker would have so much to offer. Their place in society would be respected instead of today's world view "If you are over 40 you are over the hill and have nothing to offer an employer"

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • The use of the phrase "Population Control" must be used very cautiously. The issue is more workers than jobs. A solution that would not threaten the human element to this issue could be to have wage earnings high enough to cover the cost of living. Our parents had the ability to raise their family on a single income. Parents today cannot. Housing, food, and fuel prices have sky-rocketed. Take home pay is insufficient to cover these basic needs. Americans are maxed out on their credit cards, employers no longer give raises on an annual basis, there is no sign of light at the end of the tunnel. If wages were high enough, families would have the option to return to the good ol days of single family households.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • I know my ideas are utopian, however moving the base of operations to a tax haven wouldn't make any difference. Take Stanley tools which did this a few years ago. The manufacturing stayed where it was (some combination of the US and Asia).

    Stanley, Bahamas would not own Stanley, USA. It could lend the USA firm money, but the USA firm would still be incorporated here. The owners would have to be local. This is not as radical as it sounds, many third world countries (and China) restrict the degree of foreign ownership. As far as I know China still requires 51% domestic ownership.

    My suggestion would only change things in that foreign investors would not be able to own stock, just lend money. I guess there is nothing to stop the foreign firm from lending money at some artificially high rate so that the local firm shows no profits and escapes taxes, but I'm sure some smart legislators could close this loophole.

    I'm concerned with governance, not taxes.

    Reply to: Corporations Owning Corporations   15 years 1 week ago
  • on the user look up, I'm still not sure what you want, I've been putting in under "My account" a tracking method on all of your comments with replies, forums posts with comments, new comments (the format is messed up but the info is there, working on it as I type).

    Just put in the "new site" blog comment thread what features you want and let me know. I get to things as I can write them up and also try to find consensus that everyone agrees.

    Two things I am aware of are the images, putting images in your posts through upload and the WYSIWYG editor that I'm working on.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • This also has a lot to do with bad trade deals. Public Citizen talking about the many tax havens in Panama which house corporate subsidiaries in order to avoid taxes, regulations.

    We had earlier a CEO claiming that if the US removes the tax incentives to offshore outsource US jobs then they would simply reincorporate (move their headquarters) abroad and no longer be a "US" corporation.

    We also have a lot of front groups which are just US subsidiaries of foreign corporations and governments, set up to lobby Congress.

    I just found a website Tax Justice USA
    seemingly devoted to the topic of offshore havens.

    Good intel so far!

    Joseph Stiglitz video on tax havens offshore.

    Reply to: Corporations Owning Corporations   15 years 1 week ago
  • Try this site, I think it is exactly what you are looking for:

    The author is a journalist who specializes in health economics.

    Interestingly I agree with her goals, but we seem to differ on which defects in the current US health system are most important.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • I've heard repeatedly from CEOs who are pure capitalists that they save more money on health care taxes in EU countries that what they pay in the US. Anybody noticed that single payer health care is off the table this election yet in terms of overall costs it appears to be the most effective on multiple levels, including hiring practices.

    If anyone knows of a blogger who specializes on benefits cost analysis, multinational comparisons, I'd like to hear more about this.

    If we have a series of capitalist CEOs wanting single payer I don't see why it's so off the table.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • I think you might enjoy reading the utopian novel "Looking Backward" by Edward Bellamy.
    You can even read it online, but every public library should have a copy:

    The author designed a society where people would only work for 20 years, say, 25-45. The rest of their lives would be spent in personal enrichment. His ideas spawned a social movement which was cut short by his untimely death.

    There is a nice summary on Wikipedia as well.

    Job sharing has been discussed many times, but firms find it cheaper to hire fewer people and overwork them then to spread the work around. A lot of this has to do with the fixed costs of fringe benefits. Notice that a firm like Walmart which offers few benefits to most workers has no problem with a large, part time, and revolving staff.

    If benefits were not tied to a given employer, then there could be more job flexibility. Notice that Social Security doesn't affect most hiring decisions since the withholding tax gets paid regardless of whether it is two $30,000 employees or one $60,000. There is a small exception for those who earn more than the cutoff, but that is a tiny part of the workforce ($102,000).

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago
  • Is this a lack of work, or imagination?

    In Michigan, we have cities paying of thousands of dollars to destroy forclosed houses, (tens of thousands in materials and labor)while autoworkers are unemployed. Why not train the autoworker to restore the house and provide a tax holiday to the new owner.

    In the developing world, workers could transcribe every news article and noteworthy book in the history of man to electronic format. When they are finished, they could transcribe content to other languages. Imagine having all literature at your disposal for the cost of a few books per year.

    Some types of work require no work at all. Take the fire department or police, generally these people are ready to work. When there is no fire, or crime, firefighters and police maintain work readiness, which is part of the job description, but not the actual "work."

    As for the two wage-earner requirement for families comment, this is the result of treating the family home as an investment rather that an heirloom. If Americans were living in inherited homes, the second wage-earner would be a matter of choice. A properly constructed home can last centuries and be handed down to your children.

    Instead, we are returning to the nomadic ways of early man roving the countryside for sustenance -- famine will surely ensue. The overpopulation problem will cure itself.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   15 years 1 week ago