I'm still curious about which budget you're talking about (the one which was unanimously voted down in the Senate, if it's not the one in Sentios's link), since the one described in the New England Council review never made it to a vote.Rough Giraffe wrote:So, was Sentios not going to respond? Was kinda looking forward to his perspective. :\
When I link something to support my points, it's not just to fill space or to look pretty in purple. I'd appreciate it if you would carefully consider what they say.Rough Giraffe wrote:But anyway, as regards to employers telling their employees that if Obama's policies go through they may lose their jobs, if were related to party affiliation (i.e., "Vote Republican or you're fired"), I would agree that it is fucked up--and possibly illegal. However, the memos in question related to the policies themselves; in other words, the boss is saying something along the lines of "I don't appreciate having the money that the government borrows from us simply given to those who do nothing to earn it, with no limit in sight. If these policies are put in place I may have to downsize my force as a result."
The first link wrote:Orlando time-share mogul David Siegel has told his 7,000 employees that if Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is not elected, he may have to lay people off -- and might even retire and take their "opportunities" with him to a beach in the Caribbean.
The e-mail was forwarded anonymously to the Sentinel by someone who said, "I feel like my boss is threatening me."
Siegel has said that in 2000, he strongly encouraged his employees to vote for George W. Bush and ran a "big sales campaign" for him. But when asked in the movie what he did to help Bush, he said, "I'd rather not say, because it may not necessarily have been legal."
The second link wrote:He also wrote: "At the request of many employees, we have also provided a list of candidates in your state that have been supported by Koch companies or by KOCHPAC, our employee political action committee."
The list sent to workers in Oregon? All 14 politicians mentioned were Republican.
The packet also included an anti-Obama editorial by Charles Koch and a pro-Romney letter by his brother, David.
In These Times reports the package adds to an already existing culture of fear at Koch. There's a social media policy that states, in part, "Even if your social media conduct is outside of the workplace and/or non-work related, it must not reflect negatively on GP's reputation, its products, or its brands." Many have experienced the rule as a form of political censorship.
In These Times also reports that Georgia Pacific companies must seek supervisor-approval before running for local office or serving on the boards of non-profits.
Ironically, despite the protests of the people writing these memos, Obama's policies would be better for business, as Romney's proposed cuts in spending and social services would reduce aggregate demand. Look at the situation in the first link, for example. David Siegel is the boss of a real estate and time share business, and like the rest of the real estate sector, his company took a large hit in the housing / financial crash before Obama was elected. Now, they're doing better than ever:The third link wrote:In Michigan, the president of Lacks Enterprises warned his company's 2,300 employees that their paychecks will shrink if Obama is re-elected.
At a time of rampant job insecurity, workers across the country are fearful of doing anything to jeopardize their paychecks. And in a tight race, every vote counts.
Bosses have little to fear from knowingly misinforming or threatening workers during election season. Calculated and determined efforts at worker intimidation are as brazen as ever this year. Professor Ferguson notes that the waning power of unions, along with non-enforcement of laws, has emboldened employers. CEOs are feeling quite comfortable putting their intimidation efforts into writing and making them public. There is no federal election law that specifically blocks bosses from telling workers they could lose their jobs if they vote for a particular person.
If this is so, why would he tell his employees to vote for Romney? Perhaps because Ryan's proposed cutting of the capital gains tax rate to zero would eliminate nearly all of Siegel's tax obligations, netting him personally more money even if his company would not do as well as it would under Obama. Does any of this prompt you to reconsider your thoughts on the new relationship between corporate personhood and political speech?David Siegel, last week wrote:Westgate is operating at the highest profit levels in the history of the company,
That's not what happened in 2001. In 2001, the tech bubble was deflating, resulting in some economic disruption (without 9/11 and its economic fallout, it probably wouldn't have technically qualified as a recession, but it was still a major issue at the time). The government was still running a surplus, and instead of directing it toward paying off the debt as Clinton had proposed, it was decided that a tax cut would be preferable by way of stimulating the economy. However, the supply-side tax cuts in a demand-loss period of economic difficulty not only turned the surplus into a deficit, they failed to stimulate the economy. W. Bush's administration had the worst growth since Hoover's (And also the second lowest top marginal income tax rate since Hoover's. HW Bush had the lowest top rate and the second worst growth.).Rough Giraffe wrote:For the sake of argument, let's say that your suggestion of raising taxes worked. Let's say that everyone making over $500K paid roughly a 60% tax rate, which gave us a surplus in taxes. What happens when congress starts spending BEYOND the surplus, and we have a deficit again (as happened in 2001)?
Probably, and no, at least not a hard limit. The rates should reflect the circumstances of the situation at hand and the priorities of the government / society. Just to point out how remote concerns involving the downslope of the Laffer curve are, consider this: In 1942, when the top income tax rate was 88% (near its highest ever), the real GDP growth rate was 18.5% (its highest ever). The top rate was over 90% for nearly twenty years following that (initially in order to deal with the deficit and debt from WWII), and those years overall had unusually good growth by the standards of the century. Consider that all years since the Great Depression with 10% or better real annual growth had a top rate above 60%, and all but three of the years with 5% or better had a top rate of 70% or more. In the real world, not only do much higher top marginal rates than at present not impair the economy, they correlate with better growth.Rough Giraffe wrote:Are we going to raise taxes again? Should there be an upper limit for taxation?
Because in the recovery from a demand-loss recession, reducing government spending would lower aggregate demand and weaken the economy, possibly triggering a second recession, as happened in 1937 when a lot of New Deal spending was cut off. Cuts to government spending (if warranted) should come gradually after the general economy has returned to normal (which it might have already if state and local governments hadn't laid off so many of their workers).Rough Giraffe wrote:Why is your first concern not instead to reduce spending?
Sure. How about Bush's Medicare Part D, which prevents the government from negotiating prescription drug prices for Medicare patients (as it does with other medical care), resulting in a huge handout to drug companies. That alone is projected to be a major part of future budget problems. Obamacare's "cuts" to Medicare are of this type, which maintain services while reducing the cost to provide them. Similarly, Obama's efforts to reform military spending have focused on eliminating waste, increasing capabilities while keeping the overall budget rather flat (ship numbers are on the upswing, for example, after bottoming out under Bush). Regarding public schools, please recall the previously-explained economics which says that public funding is necessary, regardless of who actually operates the schools. Regarding Amtrak, it is operated separately from the government as a for-profit company already, and it operates more efficiently than any private railroad in the US. Cutting waste is not the same thing as cutting service or even spending. For example, there are policies which would reduce waste while increasing services, which have been rejected by certain Republicans.Rough Giraffe wrote:Surely there is waste in the government we can cut, or programs that can be lessened, or things that the government owns that can be sold and privatized (Amtrak, public schools, etc.)?
I don't. I'm not a Communist. Have you been paying attention what I've been saying?Rough Giraffe wrote:Why do you see government as the end-all for prosperity?
I did that to discourage you from dismissing the information out of hand. Do you agree that Colin Small was working for the Virginia and national GOP to register people to vote and in the course of his work (as a supervisor) threw out completed registration forms, that Nathan Sproul's company (and only his company) had been employed by the national GOP to register voters in swing states (until irregularities emerged in Florida) while long having a reputation for questionable practices (including televised interviews from 2004 with workers claiming to have thrown out Democratic registrations or seen their supervisor do so), or that Republicans have been evasive about their business relationships with these people and organizations? To contrast, ACORN's situation involved workers defrauding ACORN itself by submitting fake registrations, which were flagged by ACORN when they were passed to election officials (and for this, ACORN was destroyed), while this situation involved people hired by the Republican Party destroying registrations in what looks like a concerted effort (which may result in the people whose registrations were destroyed being unable to vote this year). Can you reconcile your past thoughts on ACORN with your current thoughts on this case?Rough Giraffe wrote:Furthermore, you touched on alleged GOP voter fraud. First, three of the links you posted there relate to the same event---no need to post multiple links of the same story.
Rather, that is one former Democrat (Artur Davis, who is now a Republican) baldly asserting that it is so.Rough Giraffe wrote:Second, are you just going to ignore the fact that Democrats have publicly admitted that voter fraud is a common political strategy?
Which discusses a single case where a person with dual-state residence voted in both states, whose candidacy was suspended when the Maryland Democratic Party discovered and reported it. Relatively few people maintain residences in multiple states, and neither voter ID nor registration laws would catch this sort of thing.Rough Giraffe wrote:And it's not
Which is a style of fraud similar to what I pointed out that Republicans are doing, a kind which would not be caught by ID or registration laws. Note the differences with the Republican case though. Here, a single candidate and his dad hired two guys to tilt a local election (in a place where no Republicans even run) in the candidate's favor. In the Republican case, the national and many state parties hired companies which apparently did this on a rather large scale in multiple elections over years.Rough Giraffe wrote:just
Which is a video of a staged entrapment situation like the debunked ACORN video (which was by the same guy, James O'Keefe) in which no illegal activity actually took place.Rough Giraffe wrote:the
Do you think he was going up to voters and giving them unsolicited advice on how to commit fraud, and do you think that any fraud actually took place there besides what O'Keefe was doing?The guy in the video wrote:At no point did I take this person seriously. He struck me as being unstable and joking, and for only that reason did I humor him.
The people involved there voted once with an absentee / early ballot and then again normally on election day, and were caught by the election board when it processed things. Contrary to the statements by Republicans in your link, voter ID laws would not have prevented those cases.Rough Giraffe wrote:one either.
That's another James O'Keefe production. It's only a big problem if a lot of people are actually doing this sort of thing, and since people like O'Keefe and other Republicans would be pointing them out if they were (and people whose names had been used fraudulently would notice something), let's go with the studies like this one which found only ten such cases nationwide in the last twelve years. It's a tiny, tiny problem so rare as to be nonexistent for most practical purposes.Rough Giraffe wrote:It's a pretty big problem, despite what Eric Holder publicly tells us.
I covered some of those examples specifically above, but I think that a commenter there said it nicely:Rough Giraffe wrote:And then there are the flippant excuses the Democrats make about Voter ID,
Also relevant for number 7: Buying votes? Voter ID laws wouldn't stop this.goreshade wrote:It's sad to see standards in critical thinking have gotten so low.
1. If a "well prepared team of say a dozen operatives could literally go from polling place to polling place and cast HUNDREDS of fraudulent votes" then hundreds of real voters would show up and be told they had already voted. This just doesn't happen en masse, which is why poll workers aren't that vigilant to stop it.
2.They had ID's. Voter Id laws wouldn't stop this.
3. Not an ID issue, but a voting roll issue. Voter Id laws wouldn't stop this.
4. Also not an ID issue, but a voting roll issue. Voter Id laws wouldn't stop this.
5. Absentee ballots? Voter Id laws wouldn't stop this.
6. Absentee ballots? Voter Id laws wouldn't stop this.
7. 52 years ago?
Because of things like this. Some of the proposals for voter IDs require supporting documentation that costs more to procure than the old-time poll taxes. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai said that voter ID would let Romney win Pennsylvania. Since the fraud that voter IDs would prevent is vanishingly rare (which has been acknowledged in court by the state), how do you think that was supposed to work? The problem isn't voter ID laws per se, it's voter ID laws designed to statistically skew the electorate. It wouldn't be an issue if, say, the state proactively provided IDs to everyone free of charge. The states with laws like that aren't having them overturned in court.Rough Giraffe wrote:among them that minorities would be disenfranchised because they can't get IDs like White people can. Well, why not? After all, you don't need to be able to drive to get a photo ID, you just have to be able to ride the bus and walk a few hundred feet, fill out a form and wait a little while.
See? Poll taxes aren't really bad, since if people really cared about voting accountability, they could hold fundraisers to make sure that people weren't disenfranchised. Too bad the courts don't agree. Seriously though, if a third party can buy lots of voter IDs on its own, how is such an ID system supposed to prevent fraud?Rough Giraffe wrote:And if they're so concerned about it, why can't they, as their elected representatives, start a fundraiser or effort to get them IDs? They could get everyone an ID in the span of a week or two and have them mailed to their place of residence. Why don't they? Answer: Because they don't really care and they want people to be able to vote without any accountability.
Because that is not at all comparable to your own misunderstandings of Obama's or other policies, and it has some bearing on the discussion so far?Rough Giraffe wrote:One more thing: Here's something surprising that I found just a few minutes ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skw-0jv9kts
Q.U. wrote:Does anyone else get the feeling that when the GOP was still picking its candidate they thought "this is still going to be years of recession, so let the democrat stay in charge and then once the country starts turning back we go back in and take the credit", and so picked Romney and Ryan as another "fail team" after McCain and Palin failed as a "somewhat try to win team"? (Because I don't think they actually believed that they could win by appealing to the complete extreme of the right political spectrum). And then once they realised that the USA has a predicted GDP growth to reach back into about 3% in the next years (which is the best among all the developed western countries) they suddenly got scared they wouldn't get to have the credit for it and launched a massive all-front panic attack on the Obama campaign to try and save their asses? Because I really did feel like in the previous months they haven't even been trying up until like one, or one and a half of month ago.
Rumor has it that more credible candidates like Christie may be aiming for a 2016 bid. But it was never the plan to make it easy for Obama, what with the Congressional goal of making him single-term by way of obstruction. Romney may not be a very good candidate, but the rest of the primary field was worse. Except maybe Cain, who would have been awesome.NeoWarrior7 wrote:Nah, pretty sure it's that only the shitty ones ran in the primaries since defeating an incumbent is a bitch, and you only get one shot.
Q.U.'s and Mir@k's illustrations covered the basic situation, but here is some real-world information expressing the same idea.Rough Giraffe wrote:That's an interesting perspective, however let me ask you this, in all seriousness:
What is the difference between the start of Obama's term and now?
Romney was not much involved in conventional business. Rather, his expertise at Bain was more about leveraged buyouts (colloquially called vulture capitalism). You might find what Reagan's budget director has to say about that rather surprising (it's long, but please have a careful look). And it is indeed a question of which candidate would be better for the country. Have you been paying attention to what I have actually been saying on that matter? Do you think that GM and Chrysler said this because Romney is a Republican businessman? Did you notice how Romney pivots from previous statements as soon as they become inconvenient and how Christie reversed his appraisal of Obama when effective federal services suddenly became of critical importance?Rough Giraffe wrote:You might think of it as more of a longshot, but from my perspective, the choice is between a known successful businessman that you hate for little reason besides that he is a businessman and a Republican, and a well-spoken politician that you like because he promises free stuff at the expense of those who have more stuff. In other words, the real question at hand is: which option is best for the country as a whole?
If you prefer that measure of the economy, fine, but it's a different measure, not a more accurate one. U6 usually aligns closely with trends in U3 while being about 75% higher*. Both have been declining since late 2009, and are now 2-3% below their peaks.Rough Giraffe wrote:@Sentios: Glad to see you have found a job. It's pretty odd that you're complaining about the hours, however, during a time when something like 23 million people can't find a job.
Jobs: Sure, the "official" unemployment rate has gone back down. But as we all know, that number does not account for people who were previously counted but stopped looking for work, and so are no longer counted. I prefer to use the U6 unemployment rate when I discuss these things, which usually paints a much more accurate picture.
*The scaling on the graphs makes this pretty clear if you open both links in different tabs and flip back and forth.
Obama may not be perfect, but do you think (with evidential support) that Romney's proposed policies are better in any way in these areas?Rough Giraffe wrote:Health care:
Rather, that's what one economist (David Malpass, a Republican who works for the Wall Street Journal and who ran his own Republican PAC) says, which is repeated there along with a generous helping of statistics by an employee of a "free market" think tank. Let's look at what a more evidence-based organization has to say.Rough Giraffe wrote:Also, economists say that we could be seeing another recession, which could compound an already bad problem.
O RLY?Rough Giraffe wrote:He's been doing next to nothing to actually solve anything,
Says who? Because the organization responsible for keeping track of such things says that it worked.Rough Giraffe wrote:and the stimulus package was supposed to help but apparently didn't.
And who do you think has been rubbing salt in the wound?Rough Giraffe wrote:Not fixed. Patched. The wound is still bleeding and it might get infected.
But that's sometimes harder to do than picking up hours. And yes, Americans tend to trade leisure for work and suffer in some ways for that, but to the extent that workers choose to do that, I think that they should be allowed to. Note that the European situations mentioned in your links don't have hard caps on work hours, but instead use incentives to discourage overwork, like requiring that employers give part-time employees the same wage, benefits, and opportunities as full-time employees. And providing a more substantial social safety net, which reduces the need for building up emergency cash reserves.Sentios wrote:Only in the sense that they couldn't just put in more time in on the job, they could still earn more by pursuing a better paying job. Consider it incentive to improve to improve job skills. It would have to be implemented smartly, but it's not like there's no incentives beyond tackling unemployment to the idea.Valhallen wrote:Keep in mind that a cap on work hours would also be a cap on how much employees can work and earn.
The original (rather longer) report was from Buzzfeed.Q.U. wrote:I would love to take those news reports seriously, but the glaring grammar mistakes are getting in the way. This site's editorials ooze such pure professionalism from every pore.