We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We are accustomed to thinking that our country is in the midst of a long transition from an industrial economy to a "service" economy, and these figures would seem to confirm that perception. But the service economy is not what we often think it is. The images that most readily come to mind when we think of these sectors might involve retail sales, information-technology consulting, and financial services. But Spence and Hlatshwayo's work shows that, within the non-tradable sector, health care was easily the growth leader — increasing from 10 million to 16.3 million jobs, and accounting for almost 25% of total job growth in the past two decades. Government was second, growing from 18.4 million to 22.5 million jobs, and accounting for about 15% of total job growth. Of this expansion in government employment, nearly 70% was attributable to jobs in education. Today, the drivers of the American labor market are therefore clearly health, education, and government work; these sectors form the backbone of our post-industrial economy.
...illegal immigration has transmogrified into one of the most illiberal, reactionary phenomena on the current American scene, an ossified concept of racial solidarity and tribalism that attempts to privilege one group, solely on the basis of race or ethnic fides, in its exemption from federal law, and in a manner that would never be extended to other immigrant lobbies, with less numbers, influence, and potential electoral power. We have come full circle back to the 1920s when immigration was likewise largely seen through racial lenses — when one’s race determined how one navigated immigration law.
Should there now be 6 million Korean nationals — and more on their way — inside California without legality, would the proverbial Hispanic community in large part be calling for stricter border enforcement? Would it be amnesty or deportation? English-only or Korean-language interpreters?
Adams thought the day of independence should be commemorated by “Acts of Devotion to God Almighty,” and further “solemnized” (as he confided in a letter to his wife, Abigail) “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
Love the miss me yet of Coolidge instead of Bush. We need someone of his ilk today but he is almost from another world, coming before the New Deal and its wholesale insertion of Federal power into all corners of our lives.
I will be traveling tomorrow so Happy 4th of July to everyone!
I think the invocation of Reagan within the context of Obama's management of the debt and its ceiling, is misguided in the extreme.
Sure, the behaviors and situations are SOMEWHAT similar - but there is a key difference. The debt, at the points Reagan entered and left office, was a much smaller percentage of the GDP, and THAT IS EXTREMELY important to remember.
Reagan, in today's environment, may well have rejected increased taxes as a means of fixing our deficit problem. He knew increased taxes were a drag on economic activity and efficiency.
The problem of the Republicans, as I see it, is an inability to fully articulate their view on taxing the wealthy. Over the last 11 years, the very wealthy have gained far greater increased income than those of us in the middle or lower classes. As a result, they are capable of paying more without seeing their lifestyles particularly impacted. And let's be honest, most of the very wealthy today are from the non-producing Wall Street crowd. I live among many of them, one of my neighbors recently getting a multi-million dollar bonus from Goldman Sachs.
This is not a call on my part for higher taxes. I am opposed to raising taxes. But it's a call for better explanations of the stance the Republicans are taking.
The Laffer Curve is real. But we never really know where we are on the Laffer Curve because the myriad taxes which are charged us leave a determination of this to be very difficult. It is quite possible that we are on the up slope - the side of the curve where lowering taxes only lowers revenue. It is by no means assured that higher taxes will mean higher income, either.
As a result, it's best to leave taxes where they are, let the economy recover, and then reset the tax code into a fairer, flatter, more transparent structure. In the meantime, the spending of the US government is so far out of whack as to be absurd and MUST be cut.
But equally important, the government MUST take a firmer control of certain spending to make sure it is well used. Obama's laugh that "shovel ready wasn't as shovel ready as we thought" was the height of arrogance and naivete. He CLAIMED all that money was going to rebuild infrastructure. Instead, we got repaved roads - an improvement, but not a massively beneficial one. Bridges are still at risk. But politicians LOVE a good crisis, especially this president. When the next bridge fails, you can be assured Obama will be there, showing sympathy for those lost, and proclaiming a massive spending program to "fix the bridges" - which was supposedly already being done. Who will call him out on that?
Meanwhile, he continues to want to spend billions on high-speed rail, which is unlikely to ever show a meaningful return of any kind.
"The problem of the Republicans, as I see it, is an inability to fully articulate their view on taxing the wealthy. Over the last 11 years, the very wealthy have gained far greater increased income than those of us in the middle or lower classes. As a result, they are capable of paying more without seeing their lifestyles particularly impacted."
I don't CARE whether someone can be taxed more without "impacting their lifestyle". Any gliding scale taxation where people are taxed a higher percentage of their earnings as those earnings increase is fundamentally wrong.
Yes, there are people who just sit on that money, but many of them will spend it in the economy and keep it going (in contrast to the government, who'll just piss it away on "foreign aid" and paying bribes to China).
That may come in the form of investment in companies, creating jobs for people (real jobs, not government make-work).
It may come in them ordering new things for themselves, be it a house, a yacht, or a private jet. That too creates jobs.
And a very few piss it away on drugs and booze, and even part of that money eventually trickles down into the economy.
I thought we put that Illinois Teacher's Union thing to bed the last time it was posted. Most of those people on that list are administrators or specialists in psychology or social work - only a few are teachers and I suspect they are department heads at bigger schools.