Massachusetts turned Red, but that color isn't what you think it is

Massachusetts, the most liberal of liberal states, just elected a Republican, Scott Brown, to the U.S. Senate. What the hell just happened? People are Red Faced Pissed Off is what happened!

This commentary, Dear Politicians: We are Fed up says it best:

We are fed up with the lot of you.

You promised to change the way Washington works, but you didn't do it. Your answers to our problems are inadequate, or they make things worse. As usual, you're taking care of everyone but us. Despite the worst economic crisis in generations, nothing has changed.

This country is in trouble, maybe big trouble. Our economy doesn't work for us any more. Jobs are hard to find, health care is hit or miss, and the idea of a comfortable retirement seems a cruel joke. We legitimately worry that we're bequeathing our kids and our grandkids a life that's going to be much tougher than ours.

Now here is the joke. Republicans, you think your corporate driven inane policies that do nothing but give more corporate welfare and support the super rich is what American voted for? I think not! Don't take a protest vote as thinking somehow Americans want your shit can policies.

We don't want either party's corporate driven, special interest driven, not in the national interest, special interest, corporate lobbyist written bills.

If you haven't noticed the middle class is dying on the vine and all you can do is enable more offshore outsourcing of our jobs, save Zombie banks and spew a whole lot of nice sounding rhetoric.

You even turn health care reform into a lobbyists' wet dream and spew all sorts of crap out about how you just can't get it done, uh, no, you could get it done in a few days if you would listen to real experts, use the many other industrialized nations' systems as examples and get the for profit health care sector out of D.C.

Same goes for Financial Reform.

But nope, the idiots on TV try to make this about Centrists and running the country from the center. This is pure bullshit!

Left, Right, Red, Blue, Purple and Aqua Marine are all screaming the same damn thing you corrupt holier than thou bastards. We want government that makes common sense, based on objective metrics, that is for the people and not special interests and corporate lobbyists.

I'm so disgusted with this swinging from one side to the other of the same corrupt bird. The problem is corruption, corporate lobbyists, special interests running the country and writing the bills in Congress.

Don't believe me? A new poll says Brown's election is a protest vote. They don't want his policy positions anymore than they want your corporate and special interest corrupt agenda.

How many politicians in the 2008 election promised no more bail outs to Wall Street? What was their first vote? To bail out Wall Street, by granting the other half of the TARP funds.

Obama railed on offshore outsourcing as campaign rhetoric. Who does he add, first thing, to his administration? Diana Farrell, the offshore outsourcing princess. He bails on even the most trivial of actions to curtail offshore outsourcing. Of course we should not forget, putting into his economic team, the exact same people who brought you financial deregulation, bad trade deals, global labor arbitrage in the first place. Larry Summers being the lead Rubin's Rube of that neo-con-liberal gang. This centrist line of spin really means more multinational corporations and elites run the show.

The list goes on and on and on. We could spend $787 billion dollars in Stimulus. That's our tax dollars. Yet when it comes to make sure that money went to hire U.S. citizens, U.S. workers and buy American goods for projects...
oh lordy, somehow that's protectionism and we cannot do that. Right o! You can rob money straight from the taxpayer's pockets yet not make sure that money stimulated their own economy. Unbelievable!

Folks reading this, please add your own rant. The TV idiots simply try to spin all of this as if Americans want Republican corporate agenda over Democratic corporate agendas...

The truth is....Americans want the American agenda. We want this government to act in our citizens interest, our national interest, not some multinational's agenda or even some special interest group with a lot of campaign bucks.

Fed Up? If the entire country turns red, it's not because we all went conservative, it's because we are all that hopping mad.

Update: James Woolley in the comments pointed to the below video as the #1 reason for Coakley's loss and it's beyond damning.

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Nice populist rant

If President Obama wants to build his populist cred, he can start by firing Emanuel, Summers and Geithner. - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

Few realize the offshore outsourcing Princess

and right now, you should see the India BPO industry. They claim "it's raining jobs", all coming from the "Western nations", read United States....

so while we have desperate unemployment, under employment rates, companies, including most who received bail out money, are busy offshore outsourcing even more jobs.

Believe me, this is not about "specialty skills" or any such stuff.

Unexpected Results of the Free Market Mindsets

They broke the steel unions by killing tariffs so we could build cheaper skyscrapers. Then they floated the dollar and killed the cost of wages here by creating a fake stat that tracked inflation. Then they went after every other labor group here with NAFTA.

Now high level IT jobs, legal jobs, all types of jobs - white collar jobs and service jobs are being outsourced along with manufacturing.

Meanwhile public labor unions are setting their own labor force levels, taking layoffs to court and bargaining as equals with taxpayers.

I'm middle class and being squeezed.

Not a penny of this stimulus has gone to the non union private sector middle class. Its like the government is at war with people who work for a living except for those that work for the government.

I don't get it did we offend them?

The latest deflationary statistic in my area? The water company has put in for a 12.5% increase (already the second highest rate in the state) because they lost a bundle in the crash with their pension fund investments. Of course the ratepayer just automatically picks up the tab. Thank God there is deflation I couldn't deal with any inflation if this is deflation.

more on Populist rants

One of the reasons I wrote this is we know a hell of a lot of "lefties" are screaming bloody murder over health care due to the insurance lobbyists and big pharma, etc. having a pig fest.

I watch Hardball (Chris Matthews is such a useless mouth) and he can't quite get it why Democrats would vote against passing the Senate health care bill.

I swear, cable TV is so absurd, so useless, they refuse, absolutely refuse to nail the issues to the ones people are voting on. i.e. the above and then trade, jobs, jobs, jobs, opportunity, retirement, jobs.

I've got another bomb and that's going to be "Comprehensive" immigration reform. Dems every time enable massive labor arbitrage under the guise of "pathway to citizenship", which is actually the smallest amount of those bills they try to pass. Most of it is about global labor arbitrage and just decimating, flooding the U.S. labor market. Well, with all of those various agendas, affecting about every occupation in America plus all of the other's a political neutron bomb that will probably wipe out the Democrats from power I think.

Are you calling me a "lefty"?

Just kidding. DC Dems are absolutely missing the point of yesterday. People want more than anything else is a president and legislators that fight for them. People are not getting that feeling.

Most polls that I have read say that Dems have not gone far enough with health care reform and financial regulatory reform. - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.


Ya know, because midtowng focuses heavily on deficits, debt, I bet some think he's a "rightie" which is another great reason to keep EP officially "all colors". Keep 'em guessin'.

TV is so positively useless. I'm fairly certain anyone can be a pundit, just as long as they completely miss the point.

Diana Farrell definitely wants to offshore your job!

Definitely, need to throw Diana Farrell off the bus...and under the train...then drop 1,000 tons of concrete on her....then slice up her remains and spread them over a toxic waste dump. Then sprinkle holy water on it....(Open to any and all further offers and options?)

Check out the link I posted above to see her expressed beliefs --- I can't think of ANY Obama appointments (and I used to like Gov. Sebelius - now at HSS) --- that should remain -- they are soooo neoliber/neocon and sooo antithetical to America.

uh, offshore outsourcing Farrell's job would suffice

As much as I'm chuckling, oh yes she should be immediately fired, and her entire job offshore outsourced to where it belongs (and is being done), NASSCOM.

Such fiction! I've read some of those "papers" and it is amazingly, astoundingly bad mathematics and they have serious assumption flaws and logic flaws. Lest I not forget, statistical flaws.

I have another one of these, Catherine Mann. She keeps moving up the economic "food chain" and I have no idea why. She wrote such a bad paper, I mean seriously, it was wrong, flawed, statistically flawed, assumptions flawed...

I mean so flawed I don't see why she wouldn't have been given an "F" grade in undergrad and flunked out? What's going on in these schools to let, not just undergrad, but really those who have PhDs no less, write such utter bullshit and claim it's a "paper"? Does anyone read this crap, review it? I mean it's unreal, it's like those 1990's bogus business books showing the laws of P/E ratios and stock price diverging, all claiming realistic business models which would actually generate profits didn't matter anymore!

Anywho, please refrain from recommending physical violence on EP, and yes I understand why you wrote it.

Why I called her a Princess, a lot of implications in that title.

On Mann and men

Sorry about that, chief! Won't happen again. Another reason I can't stomach Stiglitz is he has given interviews lately, while on his book tour, describing what the states are doing wrong, economically speaking (i.e., layoffs and budget tightening, etc.), but he fails to mention the reasons behind these --- massive jobs offshoring and relocation of production and factory facilities which have dramatically reduced their tax base (soon to be covered more fully in a blog by my humble self).

And those were the platforms he once supported. Gee whiz!!!!

On Catherine Mann, while she was at the Peterson Institute, spewing out those "studies" purporting how profitable to the American economy offshoring all the jobs would be, I questioned her data.

In response, she sent me some of her graphs, minus the sources for her supposed supporting data. I consistently requested the source data from her, but to no avail.

Just another play-for-pay, pseudo-economist. Check out the academics with membership in that Bretton Woods Committee membership list ( they were seeded into their academic chairs (financially-backed by guess who??) starting around the early '80s. And clearly, they all appear to embrace the same agenda, and several, when I've contacted them, claim they aren't members.

Curiouser and conspiracy theory here, just the historical data.

James u're awesome!

So glad someone else is reading those Academic papers directly here and seeing what I'm seeing, it's so rare to find someone who actually read that Mann paper and that outrageous thing is so cited, over and over again, and few have any clue the entire paper is bogus simply because most never read these with the ability to understand the assumption and statistical/mathematical snow job.

Immigration reduction probably the best wedge issue

Much truth and reason in what's said here. Personally, I have come to think being firmly against immigration is the best single litmus test of a politician. If they can pass that hurdle they'll probably be good on other issues as well. Immigration reduction is also probably the single quickest way to really help stuggling Americans. Before each election go to to check the candidate's immigration report cards!!!

Immigration Reform is Labeled Racist

I consider myself a sane liberal but I have some conservative issues that I strongly back including immigration reform.

As soon as someone makes a case for reform that includes more deportation, e-verify, a wall -anything concrete that slows it or stops it they are labeled racist.

Liberals are very weak minded to believe that this is an argument against illegal immigration. The word illegal is a key here.

The other weak argument is that no one wants 'those jobs'. I laugh at that assertion given our economy and point to the cost of education and social service for their citizen children as far outstripping any taxes they may pay. They are 'tax negative' entities.

I don't think you're alone Jim

on this. My issue is labor econ. The laws and supply/demand do apply and like it or not, the world is not together enough in other nations at all to have a global union or worker rights, living wages etc in every nation, but I know for a fact there are a lot of Dems who part company on this issue for various reasons, although I'd say the primary one is jobs or national security/sovereignty.

Forgetting Cesar Chavez

Quite a number of Americans (or perhaps I should say Ameritards) have no knowledge nor understanding of labor history in the USA and forget the great Cesar Chavez and his anti-undocumented worker marches.

..Chávez and the UFW went so far as to report undocumented immigrants who served as strikebreaking replacement workers, as well as those who refused to unionize, to the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

While I fully understand the reasons for the increase in workers coming here from Mexico (NAFTA and the privatization of the Mexican banking and food industry, and thousands of private farmers losing their farms due to subsequent trade policies on imports/exports, etc.), the illegal immigration is obviously been used by corrupt pols as yet another labor arbitrage strategy. (Although the Central American newspapers I've read state that the Mexican army shoots undocumented immigrants who attempt to enter through their southern border. Don't know if that's true or not, but it has appeared several times in the newspapers.)

We need to stare wages/ labor right in the eye on this issue

and probably discuss global conditions. I want to stay far away from the other issues and stick only to the labor economics, very exact, using only highly credible labor economists as well as theory (and believe me, even here is plenty of fudged stats!, so weeding through even the Academic and statistical facts is an exercise in discerning spin from truth)....

The reason is this is such a controversial topic and frankly there is little objective analysis fact and focus out there and what it means for global labor and most importantly (because this site is focused in the U.S.) what it means for U.S. labor and it's economy.

So, all, if we take this on, please be cautious and also buy at least one undergrad labor econ text and cite it and not only stick to Academic research/papers but also make sure those are well received from colleagues.

The political spin is on max high and so fictional data, fictional stats are everywhere (both sides). I'm not going to give a link but I saw a "talk" at at supposedly economics based think tank that was so full of absolute, utter fiction, well, they should be embarrassed...

so watch your theory and use your calculator, before writing an opinion. I'm not kidding on this....
and the last thing I want EP to become is a war zone not based on objective stats, history, fact over this topic.

I think all know I've really abreast on my global labor arbitrage facts on Professional labor (outsourcing, H-1B, L-1, etc.) but because this topic is always missed with other immigration topics, I really had to go digging into the entire area, have 3 labor econ texts on my shelf alone.

(Paul Samuelson's Economics bible covers labor econ a tad as well).

Please check out Farrell's talk on the subject

Again, please check out Diana Farrell's talk on labor arbitrage, it says it all...

Just shut down all employment in America......And this is Obama's economic advisor???????

I've got an idea for another series, all EPers read

and we might need more writers to take this one on.

How about, since after all, we are the Populist site, taking some so called "Academic/think tank" paper, which is really a corporate agenda paper masked to look like fact (they snow Congress with this crap), and just put up a "this person should be stripped of their PhD and tarred and feathered for economic fiction" and show, with mathematics, with the statistics, with those very details we find (and I'm not writing out specifics here but I can pull out the fundamental flaws on these papers I mean down to the very exact, theory, mathematics and statistics focus) on how said (cough) paper is fiction and why the author deserves a very public humiliation and call out. I'm personally sick to death of that and esp. sick to death of overworked staffers taking these white papers, which they never read as fact! It's absolutely ridiculous and you see Politicians later quote this caca as fact and you know it's pure bullshit. How about we call out, with plenty of outrage and blogger style blast some of these people.

They are making 6 figures to sell their intellectual soul by writing those things and this is considered "acceptable".

To me it's also seriously degrading the entire nature of research and scientific methods, which were supposed to be unbiased and objective.

Krugman - you know the liburl economist:

Wow. WH is considering shifting right to capture GOP support - ie. Olympia Snowe - good luck with that:

But I have to say, I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in. - Financial Information for the Rest of Us.

here's the big rub on this

It's pretty clear the backlash is coming and it's intense.

At the same time we have a host of groups, riding on the backlash, whose policy agendas are just as insane.

Seriously. So, beyond continuing to blog our brains out, how do we get the focus on sane, practical, fiscally prudent, policy that really works to turn this economy around, for the working stiff, average Joe/Georgina, middle class and not just get more insane policy and legislation that's well, pretty much just as bad?

I think it's going to be a backlash from hell because so many bought into that "Change" rhetoric/propaganda. (I didn't so I'm not so surprised, I mean I didn't see some black guy running, I saw a University of Chicago/Harvard insider who would push that corporate agenda with the worst of the "liberal" sprinklings...

and probably more, we're going to get a "GDP blip" but 2010 and even 2011 are looking so bad, I mean damn bad for most of America in terms of jobs, income, the bread and butter basics.

But it just drives me nuts because if one looks at the statistics, looks at the theory, looks at what works in other nations, looks at history and so forth, I mean how hard is it to enact legislation and policy that actually works? I mean right now we have pundits like Glenn Beck to Keith Olbermann spinning it like no tomorrow and it's so far from actual real economic theory, policy stats it's just a massive misinformation stream?

Like your housing blog piece. Hello! I think when TARP was started someone calculated you could give every homeowner in the United States $50k for the total cost and I often wonder, from a "bottom up" sort of approach, if that would have solved a host of problems so much better than what happened and obviously handing everyone who owned a home in 2008 $50k is pretty extreme and it looks more sane than what they have put together.

$50K to Each Individual Would be Fair Though

At least the money would go to everyone who will be paying it back. My niece who will be stuck with these bills for her whole life could have used it to pay for a year of college.

I could have invested in new tools and vehicles.

Instead no teachers were laid off in my area and state employees weren't either. They put new sidewalks in three towns over. The roads in my town haven't been paved in over 15 years.

Thanks I guess.

I'll tell you the way things are going we have rushed and done everything possible to get back to the way things were the day before Lehman Brothers went under because thats the order of things and that means its only going to be a few years before it happens again.

Next time will be different though people have already read this book and won't swallow the BS next time watch and see there will be an uprising. The real reason for 'homeland security' will be apparent then.

Happens again

Simon Johnson is the economist whose name comes to mind talking about this happening all over again because fundamentally nothing has changed. I don't know about that prediction but so far any "financial reform" has been loaded with Swiss cheese and esp. on one of the biggest culprits, derivatives, so far, reform is nowhere.

I don't know about $50k to every person but I agree on Stimulus money not being wisely spent and it seems a large part of that is state corruption and the way contracts are awarded.

I've put up bits and pieces of news on Stimulus projects, but we need a big overview.

Negative on Simon "Mr. IMF" Johnson

Being slightly familiar with both recent and 20th century economic history, I have to first applaud you for your constrained and reticent blog here, Mr. Oak, but I have to take exception with Simon Johnson.

The other day I happened to hear Dean Baker, during an interview, suggest Krugman, Stiglitz, and Simon as future Obama appointments. ABSOLUTELY NOT!

No more politicians masquerading as economists, please! Paul "let's offshore America" Krugman, Joseph "NAFTA will be great for America and the American worker" Stiglitz, and Simon "I love credit default swaps" Johnson simply don't fill the bill.

(Although I acknowledge that Simon can read, and appears to have been paying attention to Elizabeth Warren, Nomi Prins, Zerohedge and the Economic Populist sites for his predictions.)

Now Prof. James Galbraith, Prof. Elizabeth Warren, Prof. Ravi Batra, (especially Prof. Michael Hudson, but they might find him too honest, too intelligent, and too radical) and Paul Craig Roberts would qualify.

But the three stooges Dean Baker mentioned.....color me stupified at such a random suggestion!

And it comes as no surprise that China's economy, with their buy-only China internal legislation, and the funneling of the American stimulus bill to China, should be doing so well in economic growth.

how about Pat Choate?

I hate to admit this but who is Ravi Batra?

Yes, I know Simon Johnson was involved with the IMF, but to date, I've been looking over quite often his comments, his policy recommendations and haven't seen anything off base.

That said, we have been so focused on the financial crisis, a lurking labor arbitrager, waiting in the wings or whatever other insanity is out there I might have missed.

On this issue he's been pretty good.

How about Ralph Gomory or much more mainstream but very good mathematics, theory is William Baumol.

Krugman, I know but lately he has been (almost talking out of the side of his mouth), admitting that maybe this globalization stuff isn't it's all cracked up to be.

Now Stiglitz has written quite a bit on how NAFTA is a major failure for workers, so he might be a little more safe than you think. So, in other words, the 90's insanity, now that some statistics are in, are getting a few to begrudgingly admit they were wrong.

Batra, Brzezinski and me...

Prof. Batra, out of Southern Methodist U. in Texas, has an excellent comprehension of the market fundamentals of economics, especially such notables as Jean-Baptiste Say, Riccardo, Keynes, etc., and grasps the connection between supply and demand.

He's gone out on the limb with some of his predictions, and while not always on target due to extenuating circumstances, they've been backed by sound thinking. He predicted the end of communism and capitalism around 2000 (back in 1978).

Now I think that was fundamentally sound, as a brilliant fellow I once knew, during a dinner conversation - also back in 1978 - between this unnamed fellow and Zbig Brzezinski (I was on Carter's presidential campaign, which was how I knew them) correctly predicted the exact year of the fall of the Soviet Union, and predicted the end of capitalism, as we know it (the highly predatory kind) by 2012.

I'm kinda thinking his prediction is still on track....(all of Brzezinski's predictions that night were, as usual, completely wrong!!!!!!).

Prof. Batra also wrote Greenspan's Fraud, highly recommended.

I'm not being critical of Mr. Choate, I just think the others I've mentioned are more suitable (OK, I think they are of a much higher mental caliber, but I'm not saying Mr. Choate is unintelligent, just not in their category).

Stiglitz still belongs to the Bretton Woods Committee ( and his name was included with everyone else's to their letter to Reid and Pelosi to kill the "buy American" clause in the federal stimulus package. He's still all politician; still a strong supporter of globalization.

He has repositioned himself, but he's just repeating the obvious memes which so many have already stated, at least one to two years before he would dare mutter them: such as Prof. Taleb, Peter Morici (also on Bretton Woods Committee), Nomi Prins, and others.

Krugman is also repositioning himself. But after diving off a cliff, even the dumbest person finally realizes he's falling --- therefore no excuses and no slack for the uber mediocrities of Krugman & Stiglitz.

[The Bretton Woods Committe is composed of the ultra-elite of the multinational and bankster crowd, including former pols of international stature, such as Billy Clinton, George and Poppy Bush, etc.)

Can I convince you to share with the rest of the class?

To write some blog posts, with references, citations, graphs, even lifted equations from his research and papers to help us familiarize ourselves with some of these other's work?

You're also hitting on something I wanted to do, which is to try to write up more Academic research results which were critical and of course almost no one reads those papers (in the media sphere).

I know for myself, I've never heard of much of this and as it is, I'm cherry pickin' on some of the people you list....I try to check if on that subject, on that event...the conclusion is correct and really have "horse blinders" on vs. their entire track record.

I also missed Stiglitz on the Buy American clause. Ok, to me that is just stupid because it's money (istraight from taxpayers pockets. I can understand such an argument but to me that's outrageously invalid when the funds are coming directly from those who are to benefit from Stimulus and also completely violates the entire Keynes equations for temporary gov. expenditures to Stimulate a domestic economy. So, how can one claim something that clearly violates the mathematics of the theory (which is why the crap would work in the first place!)

Sometimes I feel like I'm missing the real mathematical models but I dig and dig and from every version I see these sorts of arguments don't "add up" from the math. (i.e. of course it should be "Buy American and Hire America)

Sorry, but almost finished that tax thing....

Sorry, but I've been working on that tax blog you suggested awhile back (reading dozens of taxation books and studies is truly mind-numbing, at least to this piddling soul), and am almost finished abstracting the salient points. Another few days, or so, and I'll be blogging that one.

And FYI, I suspect this reason from the single payer blog site might be an excellent reason for Coakley's loss in Massachusetts.

And to reiterate the obvious, I admire and respect those highly intelligent econ types who have been consistently correct, not vary according to the popular political winds and currents (of course, they are the ones who usually are given the Nobels).

post updated to include video

My, my is that damning and very enlightening.

Ah, well, if you need any assistance with formatting and such, just email. I'm working on site upgrades (and stuff keeps happening so I am writing too) slowly but surely to make the entire site better/more user friendly, but in the interim, there is always email.

Dem vs Repub? They are all the same now.

For 20+ years, its been harder and harder to see a difference between the economic policies of either major party. Even someone like me (Gay, Californian, small business person and Big-time social liberal - Fiscal conservative) begins to think the Tea Party could be a viable Political Party to shake us out of this. Some tea-baggers are down right nuts, but at least they are looking to change the status quo.

The critism that Obama is false is valid. He said so many pretty things! But doesn't seem to actually believe any of it. Does the man have a pulse? We elected a candidate and some stepford robot showed up on the first day.

As a middle class guy... here's what I see as our most urgent needs:

1 - RE-regulate banking. Heck, just re-impose the glass act! It worked fine for DECADES and only 10 years after its repeal we are in a crisis.

2 - Abandon NAFTA and so-called fair trade policies. They only seem to benefit other nations. We need jobs and we need to develop manufacture capabilities.

3 - Railroads - it's almost inescapeable that our transportation system is in shambles. RR's are the most energy efficent method of moving goods. Yet the USA is stuck with a system frozen in time. High speed rail is fast, reliable, affordable and safe. Check out Spain!

4 - Education - without high-quality, Free education, we will quickly become an also ran nation. China, India and Korea have been churning out engineers and programmers in an effort to take our innovation/production edge. How do we compete... return to education based on merit, not the ability to pay.

A Tangible Action

Okay, here's what we have to do. We MUST elect a third party candidate if ONLY TO PROVE THAT WE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO ACT ON OUR FRUSTRATIONS AND DISAPPOINTMENT. Who that candidate is does not matter. No candidate can afford to willingly break the cycle of taking big money from the the corporations. We are fools to think that it will happen on its own. But as long as we sit back and let the cycle continue, then we are impotent, and who wouldn't walk over the impotent if they continue to lay down for you.

A vote for the 3rd party candidate has alwasy been a vote of protest. So let's do it...and as long as we are going down that road, let's support a 3rd party candidate that wants to legalize marijuana (hey...why not)