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July 06, 2009

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Fresh Air

Ignatz--

I agree WRT the price mechanism on wages. Why does everyone think the Chinese are making all our goods now? It isn't because of their superb quality. And they are increasingly major buyers of turnkey CAD systems to go along with their cheap labor.

What I am expecting is for tax increases to lead to price inflation as well, as small businesses raise prices on consumers to offset higher income and other (C&T, healthcare, you-name-it) taxes.

The clowns don't get it; businesses NEVER pay taxes, they collect them from customers.

Extraneus

Me, too, FA. I know the man gets paid to talk, but he could take a clue from Huckabee, who did a great soft-shoe tightrope walk on FoxNews yesterday during some Palin questioning. I was impressed.

McCloud

As to standing room only service on Ryanair (or over here one day), it will only happen when Obama figures out a way to eliminate turbulence outright. Surely that's one of the balls they are juggling right now, along with lowering sea level and changing global temperatures. Nothing too big for these guys.

JM Hanes

Last things first, to Sylvia:

The only folks who are more convinced than a credulous public that the Ivies are the center of the known intellectual universe are Ivy Leaguers. It's a wonderfully symbiotic relationship which mostly works to the advantage of Ivy graduates. They have plenty of bright stars, of course, but common sense has never been a prerequisite for admission. The not-so-bright make up for their deficiencies with a sense of grandiosity which the aura of their eventual diplomas does nothing to dispel.

Along the way, there are cerebral entertainments, and hilarity, to be had, and causes to pursue with self-important passion, but the skills which are rewarded on campus are not necessarily constructive outside the ivory towers. In one of the great ironies of higher education, the more skillful the debater, the more facile the sophistry in which virtually any position can be indulged and defended in a manner which appears to make sense.

In Boston, the smartest, most intellectually diverse and worldly wise are not found in economic circles on the Cambridge side of the Charles, but across the river at the Harvard Business School. On the Cambridge side, the real brilliance is collected at M.I.T. -- in the hard sciences.

daddy

JMH,

It's always worthwhile to remember that Ben Franklin thought Harvard Graduates were self important blockheads. Don't have the quotes with me today, but I've posted them before. Franklin actually wrote that he thought it was smart to send young men to live with the Indians for a while because they would learn something useful, whereas sending Indian's to Harvard he considered destructive of their innate decent qualities and native intelligence. Picked that up from Walter Isaacson's excellent "Ben Franklin", but don't have it at hand today.

clarice

When my husband and I came to DC to work for the Dept of Justice and NLRB handling cases in the Courts of Appeal around the country, most of our colleagues were from HLS. We were from our home state college the Univ of Wisconsin. We had came from a place where one-third of the students were regularly flunked out. So while it was easier to get in to Wisconsin than it was to HLS it was far easier to be kicked out. We had to be ranked high to be admitted to the honors programs under which we were hired. HLS refused to rank its students so no one knew right off the bat who was bright and who was a dunce.
The HLS grads spent a lot of time hanging up their diplomas and polishing their HLS chairs. My husband and I spent that time working..In a very short time all the big briefs ended up on our desks.

Just saying.

daddy

Hit,

"One of the things we do while here at the lake, when in the afternoon things slow down and we are just laying around the dock is to consume every trashy entertainment magazine known to man.

I know it all.

Megan Fox tats? (that's tatoos not ta tas, but then again, I can speak to those as well)"

I have been thinking that on a slow weekend we should start a JOM contest---"What should Megan Fox's Next Tattoo Be?"

Apparently she's determined to further disfigure that gorgeous body, so lets offer our considered JOM input. I think there's some butterfly poem on her right shoulder already, some crud on her left leg, and a Marilyn Monroe pic on her starboard underarm, (Hit-your expert input here would be greatly appreciated) but even though it's already pretty busy on select portions of her dermis, I think there's still ample canvas to work with.

How about "Love means never having to say you're sorry" on her Left Volleyball? (Hat Tip DOT).

Or, "If you love something, let it go..." on her right mammary, which can be expanded via breast enhancement for the whole phrase, should the text run a tad long than anticipated.

Or perhaps she should consider a tattoeed picture of Barack Obama done on her left forearm. That way, then every time she clapped her hands over her head, such as in "Right on Optimus Prime, kick Decepticon Butt!," Barack's tat on her left forearm could kiss Marylin's tat on her right, and maybe that would finally convince our Interracial Dating Spam poster, Joyce whomever, to finally leave us the hell alone.

Me though, I'm flexible, but I think my favorite would be a slight change in MayBee's Classic phrase, tattooed right across Megan Fox's forehead: "I'm Bai Ling Bat Shit crazy!" Just about says it all if you ask me.

Fresh Air

Megan Fox tats? (that's tatoos not ta tas, but then again, I can speak to those as well)"

What would you say to them? (Editor's note: I'm trying to put this one up in the zone, over the meat of the plate, so try not to whiff...)

trentk269

I distictly recall a whole bunch of liberals, economists included, who just last January said getting the stimulus passed in timely fashion was of the utmost importance; we didn't even have time to read the bill.

Now it develops that they're asking us what all the hurry is about?

My, how times have changed.

JM Hanes

Daddy:

I didn't know that -- but it does seem like emblematic Franklin, doesn't it?

BTW: I couldn't help but think of you when I saw this satellite pass over the Kuril Islands north of Japan.

JM Hanes

trentk269:

The doublespeak still astonishes me too. Nonesensical deadlines are Barack's Best Friends.

Daddy:

ROTFLMAO! I don't think anyone, hit included, would be foolhardy enough to compete with you on the tatt front...or back...or

clarice

That's so amazing to see, JMH.

hit and run

Speaking of pilots, (Hi Daddy!), I spoke to my Iranian neighbor for the first time since the June 12 election. He's a pilot who came to the US from Iran when he was 9. He moved here to NC with his brother who had been sent here 5-10 years earlier.

He is now a pilot with a private service charter business. And, let me state as plainly as I possibly can, he is as centered as anyone you would ever want to meet. But..........he did vote for Obama, so maybe that colors things a bit.

He said that the US shouldn't do much more because native Iranians should lead the charge against the theocracy. He didn't want to criticize Obama (he voted for him) -- but I could tell he was a bit impatient with the force of the US's position in the matter.

He was sincerely afraid that US involvement would undermine the reform movement. And who am I to disagree --- his family still lives in Tehran, and he visited them this past February.

But...I didn't press him on it...it was 4th of July and it was a party, and I wasn't about to spoil the mood with a partisan rant.

Oh and BTW, he, in his private charter pilot business has flown both Ollie North and John McCain back in the 90s. He said North was the consummate gentleman who would answer any questions he had...no matter how many he had. McCain was more in campaign mode of, "what can you do for me", and as a pilot it wasn't much, eh.

Don't necessarily draw poor conclusions about McCain from that.......he said...he understood. But North was...genuine.

That from an Obama voter.

But, he went home from that party sober and I didn't. Take from that whatever you will.

hit and run

Fresh Air:
Megan Fox tats? (that's tatoos not ta tas, but then again, I can speak to those as well)"

What would you say to them?

"COME TO DADDY", of course.

clarice

Don't miss Taranto today on the different reactions to the notion of Israel taking out Iran's nukes when Sarah said it and when Biden said the same thing..

http://online.wsj.com/article/best_of_the_web_today.html#printMode

Jane

I feel really left out because I don't know who megan Fox is and why she is so important.

hit and run

She's 1/1000th the woman you are. And that's being generous to her.

But, just wondering...how many tat's do you have?

JM Hanes

"COME TO DADDY"

I tender my apologies for underestimating you above, hit!

PD

"I feel really left out because I don't know who megan Fox is and why she is so important."

Don't feel bad. What's important is that we know who you are!

hit and run

Just promise me you'll be my designated driver for the 9/12 tea party in DC...(that means a day or two in advance)...and all will be forgiven...(and let's get DebinNC in on the drive, too)

YEEEARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!

sbw

"In a very short time all the big briefs ended up on our desks."

Ah. Visits from Michelle?

Jane

Geez - you guys are so sweet. And sadly Hit, I'm tatless.

Hit we aren't driving, but if we are, it is not I you want as a designated driver.

hit and run

Jane, I know -- we're coming from opposite directions.

But you and I can just share a room, right?

Kidding.

I'm sleeping on the mall, or at the northwest gate of the WH, wherever they won't kick me out. And if all else fails, I figure Clarice will bail me out...

Ignatz

--Or perhaps she should consider a tattoeed picture of Barack Obama done on her left forearm. That way, then every time she clapped her hands over her head, such as in "Right on Optimus Prime, kick Decepticon Butt!," Barack's tat on her left forearm could kiss Marylin's tat on her right, and maybe that would finally convince our Interracial Dating Spam poster, Joyce whomever, to finally leave us the hell alone.--

LOL, daddy.
That's a close second to punching Barry in the scrotum in the bodacious comments today.

BTW Jane don't feel bad. I had no idea who she is either.

hit and run

Yeah, but Igantz, you got bigger wood than anyone here, so what do you care who Megan Fox is.

MayBee

Yeah, but Igantz, you got bigger wood than anyone here

my oh my.

hit and run

Shiver me timbers!

 Ann

Hubba Hubba

Speaking of that, where is bad?

Porchlight

I don't know who Megan Fox is either and what's more, I don't want to find out. So please nobody tell me. My almost complete avoidance of pop culture (with the exception of kids' TV shows) is so pleasant.

Also missing ms. bad...

JM Hanes

I wouldn't recognize her walking down the street either, but unlike you guys, I don't intend to admit it.

MayBee

I can tell you all about Megan Fox.

Now, could someone please tell me where I might find a good interracial dating service?

hit and run

I make Megan Fox's head turn.

One hundred eighty degrees, babe.

Only in my dreams could I ever get a nod from Bad in real life.

She's much too beautiful, and much too well connected matrimonially.

(and for you women, the same is true for Ignatz and his forever love, so stop thinking about his immeasurable wood, please)

hit and run

MayBee:
I can tell you all about Megan Fox.

For the record, Megan Fox does not hold a candle to MayBee.

But again, matrimonially, don't be encouraged by this news.

Now, could someone please tell me where I might find a good interracial dating service?

Whoa. Wait a second...I'll be whatever you want...

daddy

Hit,

Cool that you have an Iranian in the neighborhood. There's bound to be good stuff worth learning from him and the family, and I hope you become better friends than "the other pilot" in the neighborhood. I think we're probably all more interested in who your new friend votes for next time.

JMH, Thanks for that great satellite shot. An amazing planet we live on.

sylvia

Wow, touched a nerve with the Ivy League economist bit. I only meant to suggest that whoever is in the administration most likely has all the training and study in the subject of economics and finance that is available today. Whether that means they are wise or not is a different story, however they are not certainly not ignorant.

As to min wage laws, yes I am aware of all of that. You can learn all of that in an Econ 101 class. However, you don't seem to get that the min wage is also a psychological tool. Although few in this country actually get the Fed min wage, it is a baseline for all other wages. You raise or lower it, it has a mild ripple effect on all other salaries. If we want to raise salaries, especially among the lower classes, you start with the min wage.

It's either raise salaries or tax the rich more. Or maybe a slight combination of both. But either way, we need to equalize housing costs and salaries again.

You'll lose me my job, whatever your intentions.

Ms. sylvia, unintended consequences, economist.

sylvia

Well yes Plan B would be to do nothing and wait, which might be the best, (; lol) however, it could take a while and a lot more problems along the way.

sylvia

And the other point I am wondering about is whether capitalism as we know it can be sustained into the future. But that is more off topic, perhaps for future discussion.

Talk to the Invisible Hand.

What? You eater of neighbors' goats'!

Pofarmer

whoever is in the administration most likely has all the training and study in the subject of economics and finance that is available today. Whether that means they are wise or not is a different story, however they are not certainly not ignorant.

Why would you think that? Most folks tend to get in one school of thought and stay there, kind of like you're doing here.

And the other point I am wondering about is whether capitalism as we know it can be sustained into the future.

So far, capitalism has survived about as long as any form of society in the modern era. As Denninger says, we need to get out the illegal stuff currently going on, but, the current administration is supporting those perpetrating it, so that's no clear bet.

sbw

Minimum wage? One can find a sweet rationalization for anything, but that won't make it work.

If you want to get more wealth into a household, don't recalibrate the speedometer, make the household more productive.

What is it about so simple a concept that makes that so difficult to comprehend?

Parking Lot

((And the other point I am wondering about is whether capitalism as we know it can be sustained into the future.))

Capitalism, even half baked, which is what we have now, is the ONLY system that can be sustained into the future.

You probably think bailing out huge corporations is capitalism. It isn't; the bailouts were about as anti-capitalist as you can get. Pure capitalism demands that crooks and failures eat their losses. The dishonesty that caused the recession, in the oil and housing industries, demonstrates what happens when capitalist markets are gamed or played dishonestly: they crater. For capitalism to work optimally the markets demand that the games and dishonesty stop. It is not a good situation when government enables and subsidizes unethical gaming.

In the future, capitalism will overcome the impediments that clog it and will exist in a purer form than now. Capitalism is the only economic system that is provably able to feed, shelter and clothe the largest number of people. And best of all, it forwards individual liberty.

Pagar

Parking Lot, I believe the same as what you have posted, but it has been a long time since I have seen it summarized so well. Do you believe any major School teaches that today? Is there anyone on the national horizon who leads with that theme today? It seems to me that Gov Palin comes close.

Thanks for your post.
Pofarmer and sbw put forth some good thoughts also.

JM Hanes

sylvia:

"Wow, touched a nerve with the Ivy League economist bit."

I can see how you might think that, but no. I just got fed up with all the folks touting Obama's Harvard diploma as a brilliant achievement which prepared him for the Presidency and proved that he must know what he's talking about. Clearly, those folks have never seen the Ivy League from the inside, and such misplaced, automatic, reliance on collegiate credentials has has already proven dangerous to the nation's health -- which is why I thought it worth responding to your question about Obama's economists. Their batting average on predictions has been worse than most.

In any case, your own contentions bear little resemblance to any known economic theory, and having heard zero evidence in support of your own assertions, I was just struck by the absurdity of your comment on the superficiality of other people's putatively simplistic analyses. If you actually have the background in economics that you've claimed, you'd have to be throwing your own idiosyncratic musings and Econ 101 into a high speed blender to come out arguing that capitalism can be saved by wage and price controls.

sylvia

"If you want to get more wealth into a household, don't recalibrate the speedometer, make the household more productive."

Yes, in general I agree, I get that, it's econ 101. However I contend, econ 10001, that the process we all hear about as a maxim is not always perfect. There might be times when you need to recalibrate the speedometer because the process is gummed up.

How that happens and how it gets gummed up, I am not really sure, but I have some vague theories on technology, immigration, lack of population growth, the natural tendency in the past for capital to get locked up to a certain group of people (case in point, royalty). I'm wondering if that is happening today and might happen more in the future, and whether we are seeing a new chapter where the old laws don't always perfectly apply.

But anyway, my main contention is that we need to level out the housing prices. And I am trying to fgure out how to do that.

"In any case, your own contentions bear little resemblance to any known economic theory"

Well, I admit, I came up with that one myself. Because I think it's common sense. Just like I came up with predicting the housing crisis years ago, because, even though all the business shows were telling me there was no limit, I started thinking to myself, man, the price of hounsing is getting tooooo high. So, common sense is telling me the housing prices are still too high, and that needs to be fixed somehow.

So I am talking about speculation on how to equalize the two. Telling me some basic facts about the min wage is not really on point and not particularly illuminating to me.

However, I admit I have not perhaps explained myself that well either because like I said, I'm not really sure myself, and only have theories at this point.

Thomas Collins

Sylvia, see LUN for one of Thomas Sowell's basic works. I would suggest that you approach Sowell with an open mind. He really is the preeminent social scientist of this era. His work in economics and cross cultural studies is breathtaking (he actually practices what the liberal elites preach, that is, approaching diverse cultures on their own terms; he doesn't get credit for it because his economic and multicultural scholarship utterly destroys the liberal mantras). In any event, I suspect after reading Sowell you might be open to the view that the laws of economics have not changed, and that the Obama Administration's approach to a nation's economy has been tried before and has failed miserably.

As far as hitting a nerve with your comment about Ivy Leaguers, speaking only for myself, I have lived in the northeast for all but two years of my life, and the only nerve of mine that is hit when the Ivy League is praised is the nerve of amusement. By the way, to take one aspect of finance in which Ivy Leaguers have been found wanting, farmers, most of whom I suspect don't have an Ivy League education, have been using hedge transactions for years and years as a means of managing risk in a business. If you want advice on the proper use of hedges, go to farmers, not Ivy Leaguers.

Parking Lot

The effect of raising the minimum wage is inflationary. The earnees think that they are getting more, but attendant to the raise in wages is a raise in production costs, so the net gain doesn't buy them any more than the lower wage. It is smoke and mirrors.

It's just plain sad how many people fall for the con and support the con artists.

Parking Lot

YW Pagar

My background isn't economics so I can't answer your question. The economic times that we are living has sparked my interest in economics. I am learning mostly from reading and researching on the Web and have found that JOM is a goldmine of economic wisdom.

Because I am politically conservative, I have not been led astray by liberal economists like Krugman. As I understand it, the problem in today's economy is too much debt and imo it is just common sense that piling more debt (Stimulus II)on top of already excessive debt is not the way to get out from under.

PL

cathyf
The effect of raising the minimum wage is inflationary.
Actually not. Rises in the minimum wage are wealth-destroying, and usually the low-wage worker suffers the most. But it's not inflationary. On the other hand, if inflation precedes or accompanies the MW hike then it will tend to ameliorate the effects of the MW hike. Of course deflation will worsen the effects.

The primary beneficiaries of the minimum wage are union workers. It benefits them by damaging or destroying the ability of low-skilled workers to compete with them on price. A MW hike ought to be understood as payoff for Obama's union friends.

Parking Lot

cathy

ty for your comment.

((Actually not. Rises in the minimum wage are wealth-destroying, and usually the low-wage worker suffers the most. But it's not inflationary))

When I used the term 'inflationary' I meant prices being 'inflated' by the additional costs to manufacture the goods or provide the service. I was not thinking of inflation in terms of printing presses increasing the overall money supply. Can't those two types of inflation be separated out?

Parking Lot

ok, was thinking about this while doing dishes today. I think I've been misusing the word "inflationary". Necessary price increases due to increased costs isn't "inflationart" because it's based on something real and substantial.

But "inflation" of the money supply, as the word implies, is like blowing air into a balloon, the increase is not based on anything real or substantial, other than indebtedness, which is about as substantial as air.

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Wilson/Plame