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October 04, 2009

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clarice

Maybe Krugman ought to try going micro--instead of mapping this out as a worldwide battle he should put on his thinking cap, imagine he's a businessman and tell us how he'd plan the coming fiscal year in light of all the uncertainty his Messiah has already introduced into the system.
After he's done that exercise, he can imagine how much bolder he'd be with even more chaotic overturning of the status quo by a dunce who has as SNL correctly notes has achieved absolutely NOTHING in almost a year in office with his party controlling both Houses of Congress.

Jim Ryan

Less than one? You mean if you dig a hole and fill it in again you get a negative effect?

That's about as crazy as saying printing up more bills won't make us richer.

Print some more! Dig more holes and fill 'em in! We gotta get out of this depression.

Ranger

What a shock. Krugman is as much of a political hack as a military historian as he is as an economist.

He still doesn't get the fact that it wasn't the size of the stimulus that mattered as much as the goals. If they had "spent" the stimulus on tax cuts and a payroll tax holiday, rather than pet lefty pork it would have accomplished something.

But all the Ds did was convince everyone they were completely unserious about addressing the economic situation, and much more serious about using the 'good crisis' they were handed to loot the treasury and stuff money in their friends pockets.

And, speaking of which, Obama is going to host a fundraiser for http://www.examiner.com/x-10326-Windham-County-Liberal-Examiner~y2009m10d2-President-Obama-to-Appear-at-Fundraiser-for-Sen-Dodd-on-October-23>Dodd, one of the key architects of this whole mess:

President Barack Obama will visit Connecticut October 23 to help raise money for Senator Christopher Dodd’s reelection campaign. However, a location has yet to be divulged for the fundraiser.

Barry Dauphin

So does Krugman's military metaphor have implications for today's military decisions?

Ranger

And here is the http://michaelscomments.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/september-unemployment-the-job-loss-accelerates/>graph showing the actual damage done by the Porkulus bill compared to if we had "done nothing."

The only think keeping unemployment under 10% is the fact that we are destorying jobs faster than we are firing people, and so many people are just giving up looking for work.

Neo

I caught this drift last night with Steve Benen complaining that moderates had forced the removal of $100 billion from the "stimulus".

This whole topic is like the business owner who is confronted with a choice ..
a) he could invest in new machinery to automate his business and reduce the costs of his produce.
b) he could blow all his money at the "Mustang Ranch"

Both of these options are "stimulating", but only one of them will help to employ more people and make him richer, at least financially.
The Democrats chose the equivalent of b).

If the Obama goes back for another "stimulus", it could only be that his tone deafness, to the yelling, screaming, and gnashing of teeth by American citizens worried about run away government spending, will lead to a cry of "We Won" from the other end of Pennsylvania Ave come a year from now.

Ignatz

--There was a lot of talk about health care being Obama’s Waterloo. It won’t, I think and hope.--

Unacknowledged tense change in their somewhere.
What an awkward writer.
What next, the Nobel prize for literature?

Gregory Koster

Well Clarice, Krugman's column is titled:

"Con Science of a Liberal"

which fits this con man's platform perfectly. More than ever, everyone should realize that the bounty of Stockholm fell on him for spitting in Geo. W's eye, and nothing else. The man's made a fine living conning everyone into giving him money, and a platform. He's sore because he doesn't have power, hence the constant use of military imagery, though he affects to despise military virtues. Businessmen? Vermin, almost as bad as Geo. W. In Krugman world, they'd be in chains and held to constant scorn and ridicule. The Once is nominally Krugman's perfect Prez. But note the Krugman didn't answer the trumpet to build Utopia. He knows dam well that The Once's idiocy is going to blow up. Not wanting to be part of the wreckage, he'll sit on the sidelines, squawking like an old, fussy, high priced whore that it isn't big enough, so he won't get involved. That's the sort of metaphor he should use.

Cecil Turner

ENOUGH MILITARY HISTORY: Robert Barro says stimulus has a multiplier less than one. Barro said something similar last January;

A pox on all these competing economic theories! Wouldn't it be nice if there were an independent office charged with computing effects of different budget proposals, who could analyze these proposals in advance, and save us from spending folly?

Oh wait, there is! But why didn't they warn us about this "too cautious" spending plan?

Oh wait, they did:

CBO estimates that by 2019 the Senate legislation would reduce GDP by 0.1 percent to 0.3 percent on net. H.R. 1, as passed by the House, would have similar long-run effects. [emphasis added]
The only logical conclusion is that this bunch of crooks knew in advance they were looting the treasury to the country's detriment, and Krugman is an enabler. And Anzio? WTF!?! He's kidding, right?

bishop

I was listening to the local Fox radio, and they were excerpting Greenspan (can't we send him to the island of the lost) and he's predicting 10% unemployment, gee ya think, but then he says 'this is what a recovery looks like" I understand what he
means, kind of, re; miseryindex.com, but you would think he would say something so daft out loud.

clarice

Let's storm the building and Anzio him, Cecil! Andiamo.

Gregory Koster

As part of my penance, I was browsing through Krugman's ninny state musings and noticed this morning's entry, on the failure of The Once and First Rolo to grab off the Olympics for Hizzoner:

"Party of Beavis and Butt-head

Middle-aged adolescents — dumb middle-aged adolescents — rule one of our nation’s two great political parties. Read it and weep."


There's Krugman's Nobel-prizewinning acumen on display again. Note the certainty that the dumb middle aged adolescents he is squawking about are in the other's side church pulpit, and do not have their billboard size pictures in his synagogue....

Hey, dummy, imagine if it was a bunch of capitalists who owned sports teams demanding that the various branches of government in these states cough up billions for stadia and other such public works. You'd have no problem, Paul, denouncing this raid on government treasuries (at least until Hizzoner's guest service clerks came round and broke your column pencil right before your eyes.) and the proposers as wretches who oughta be hanged forthwith. What's the diff with the Olympics, save that it is sponsored more blatantly by Merck, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and the rest of the Pharma gang, and that The Once's cronies would have gotten a big cut?

RichatUF

I am shamelessly stealing this link from Rick.

Ranger-

The U6 captures the discouraged and marginally attached workers, the measure that the media fell in love with during the Bush Administration.

I'm a bit surprised that retirements have surged the way they have. I thought that the retirement wave would get started in late 2010/early 2011 and accelerate after that for a decade or so. I'd think that someone within a few years of retirement, especially if they have been with a firm for a long time, might be willing to take pay and hour cuts and muddle through to keep the doors open. I suppose that the auto sector might be a big contributor to it though, but that doesn't it all:

The number of retired workers who began collecting Social Security benefits jumped by a record 19% in the 2009 fiscal year that ended Wednesday as aging Baby Boomers and the unemployed chose to retire early. More than 2.6 million retired workers entered the Social Security system, up from 2.2 million in fiscal 2008. That's a much bigger increase than during past recessions ... The number of disabled workers receiving first-time benefits also soared to nearly 1 million, an increase of 100,000 over the previous year, according to Social Security Administration records ... Those two factors are putting new pressure on Social Security's finances. The program paid out $6 billion more in August than it took in. It's projected to run in the red for the next two years before returning to a surplus in 2012.

We'll get some productivity boost for a few years but all the other bad things going on will make the productivity numbers irrelevant. And with Social Security (and Medicare soon if employmeent numbers don't turn around) in deficit now, taxes are going to have to go up significantly.

Charlie (Colorado)

Maybe Krugman ought to try going micro--instead of mapping this out as a worldwide battle he should put on his thinking cap, imagine he's a businessman and tell us how he'd plan the coming fiscal year in light of all the uncertainty his Messiah has already introduced into the system.

I think Krugman should put on his thinking cap and imagine he's an economist.

Charlie (Colorado)

I wonder if Typepad will let me get away with this:


oval office message
by postertube

Apparently not. So follow the link and watch the video.

Charlie (Colorado)

If they had "spent" the stimulus on tax cuts and a payroll tax holiday, rather than pet lefty pork it would have accomplished something.

Hell, if they'd have spend the goddamned stimulus it would have had more effect. Instead they came up with a bill that promised immediate spending but moved all the actual spending out to the next election.

Gmax

I quit playing tic tac toe when I figured out the outcomes could be controlled to either I win or no one does.

TM you should quit on Krugman for the very same reason. You always win.

Aint it boring?

bishop

One is reminded of War Games, "the only to win the game, is not to play" Rapido River
seems a more appropriate analogy, or Market
Garden

Rick Ballard

"It's projected to run in the red for the next two years before returning to a surplus in 2012."

Uh huh. It's also based upon workforce projections which include about 2 million Magical Mythical Mexicans (thanks, Census!) and upon assumptions based upon extrapolations from the behavior of the tail of the "Greatest Generation" (thanks for FDR and the SS Ponzi scheme, gramps!) during the '90's.

I make it at least 50/50 that SS never gets back in the black. Gee, I wonder who will get the bill.

Danube of Thought

Imagine you're a small businessman. Ya think this is the time to hire? What kind of healthcare mandates are you prepared to undertake? When the Bush tax cuts expire, what tax rates will go into effect?

Original MikeS

Spending and tax multipliers

What amazes me about economics is that there can be such wide disagreement about the most fundamental principles.

Denis Keohane

I don't believe the primary intent, a political one, of the stimulus has been given enough attention. To date something like only 17% of the $787 billion has been spent. Not much of a stimulant. But Obama let Congressional Democrats write the bill, and that is why the vast bulk of that money will be spent in 2010 during a Congressional election year, as Democrats use that money to buy votes! FDR was not successful to Democrats because he ended the Depression (he didn't!), he was successful to them because he won four consecutive national elections!

bishop

What's that Truman line, about 'one handed economists'that seems appropriate. Winston
Churchill's lines about statistics also applies

JM Hanes

TM:

".....and the US commander on the ground opted for a grinding slow failure rather than a dramatic quick failure."

You've hit today's rhetorical nail on the head! As transcribed from the tube, Obama/Biden respond to latest unemployment numbers by announcing new goal posts:

[The Prez] "Today's job report is a sobering reminder that progress comes in fits and starts and that we're going to need to grind out this recovery step by step."

[The Veep] Now is no time to give up, "there will be peaks and valleys in this process, this is not a straight line to recovery, but we are recovering."

Spluttering in fits and starts sounds about right, but grinding out recovery smells like failure in the morning.

Only White House apologists need sobering reminders. Much as I'm incensed by Obama's treatment of McChrystal, I think the contrast between those grim, slogging, realities back home and the obtuse, Hollywood glitz campaign in Copenhagen hurts Obama more with the public. I don't object to the cost of rolling out Air Force One, except in contrast to the now forgotten fanfare with which Obama announced that his Cabinet had come up with a million dollars in cuts at his insistence.

Original MikeS

Obama says his plan is working? As Danube points out, business faces many uncertainties regarding labor costs, taxes, etc. Worse the only certainty is that those things, and many others, will be worse than they were in the recent past.

Certainly, energy costs will not only be higher, which will drive up the cost of everything, but military action in Iran could result in really drastic shortages. Unemployment will certainly be higher for the next couple of years. Deficits will be higher. Government will be larger and more intrusive.

Don't you love it when a plan comes together?

boris

Even if the admin knew tax cuts would help they would not use them. The point of not wasting the crisis is to prove once and for all time that spending ... not tax cuts ... is the way to fix the economy.

Come hell or high water, when (if) the economy recovery happens it will be spending that gets SOLE credit for it.

Ranger

Ranger-

The U6 captures the discouraged and marginally attached workers, the measure that the media fell in love with during the Bush Administration.

Posted by: RichatUF | October 04, 2009 at 11:32 AM

And that's running at roughly 17% IIRC. But you may start hearing it bandied about, since it's only as bad as 1994, rather than 1982.

Rick Ballard

That 17% isbased upon an overstated total workforce number - if BLS applied the correction that they know with absolute certainty will be necessary, the percentage would now be over 19%. If the health care boondoggle includes mandatory participation it will have the same effect upon hiring minimum wage workers as a $2.60 (absolute minimum) increase.

Young Festus and Marigold just ain't gonna be moving out any time soon.

JM Hanes

Barry Dauphin:

"So does Krugman's military metaphor have implications for today's military decisions?"

Funny you should ask! I don't know if the head of the British Army endorsed the McChrystal plan by name, but he has just upped the stakes for Obama -- in public. "General Sir David Richards, has issued a wake-up call to the public by warning of the "terrifying prospect" of a defeat in Afghanistan":

In his first interview as the head of the Army, Sir David told The Sunday Telegraph that if Britain and Nato failed in Afghanistan the risks to the western world would be "enormous" and "unimaginable".
 
He said: "If al-Qaeda and the Taliban believe they have defeated us – what next? Would they stop at Afghanistan? Pakistan is clearly a tempting target not least because of the fact that it is a nuclear-weaponed state and that is a terrifying prospect. Even if only a few of those (nuclear) weapons fell into their hands, believe me they would use them. The recent airlines plot has reminded us that there are people out there who would happily blow all of us up."

The general's intervention comes at a crucial time, with the US General in charge of operations in Afghanistan calling for more troops to be sent to the country to fight the Taliban.

[.....]

He said: "Failure would have a catalytic effect on militant Islam around the world and in the region because the message would be that al-Qaeda and the Taliban have defeated the US and the British and Nato, the most powerful alliance in the world. So why wouldn't that have an intoxicating effect on militants everywhere? The geo-strategic implications would be immense."

Sir David, who succeeded Gen Sir Richard Dannatt as head of the Army, said that a failure by the public to back the war would ultimately "delete" troop morale – an effect which, he said, would be far more damaging than a lack of resources.

Like a typical Democrat, Krugman's idea of resourcefulness is throwing good money after bad. The irony of the Anzio metaphor coming from the left is rich, when it's liberals who insist on doing Defense, and now offense in AfPak, on the cheap -- whether the resources we're talking about are money, men, or mission support.

Ranger

Like a typical Democrat, Krugman's idea of resourcefulness is throwing good money after bad...

Posted by: JM Hanes | October 04, 2009 at 12:53 PM

In the military the term is "reinforcing failure" and it is exactly what you are not supposed to do. If the porkulus were a military operation, it would be the BEF at Dunkirk. Time to pull the troops out and save the Army and its future combat potential, rather than insist that despite the total collapse of the logic of the operation, the troops should be left in place.

RichatUF

OMS-

What amazes me about economics is that there can be such wide disagreement about the most fundamental principles.

Economists might not be right, but they are never wrong.

And from your link: By contrast, recent research by Christina Romer and David Romer looks at tax changes and concludes that the tax multiplier is about three: A dollar of tax cuts raises GDP by about three dollars. The puzzle is that, taken together, these findings are inconsistent with the conventional Keynesian model. According to that model, taught even in my favorite textbook, spending multipliers necessarily exceed tax multipliers.

Romer is still selling the crass Keynesianism and Chicago style payoffs from the stimulus bill. Since Obama needs to deflect some attention, and to be seen doing something, I'm sure her job (and a number of his "economics team") is on the chopping block.

Neo

Anzio?

Oh, Yeah, Anzio. That is where Bob Dole sustained the head injury that drove him into politics.

bishop

Add that to the fact that General Ashgari, proved to be the left's "Curveball" in terms
of shaping a criminally flawed NIE on Iran, which conveniently left out the Mousavian
letter to the Grand Ayatollah, illustrating
their ease at fooling the PC 5 + 1. which most of the commentariat bought hook,line, and sinker,

Now they who previously made a big deal about what even Zarquawi called 'Rumsfeld's
mutineers', Eaton, Baptiste, et al, say MacCrystal should lower his public profile
and defer to the risk playing genius at 1600
and his Sancho Panza

RichatUF

Denis-

But Obama let Congressional Democrats write the bill, and that is why the vast bulk of that money will be spent in 2010 during a Congressional election year, as Democrats use that money to buy votes!

However, the Obama Administration is not doing anything to fix the underlying problems: energy, housing, a depression era financial regulatory system, and an overly complicated personal and corporate tax code. In fact, the Obama Administration is making all those areas worse, not better. Or more directly, the purpose of the stimulus was for vote buying in 2010 with an unemployment rate of 8.5% and 2%-3% gdp growth, not a back drop of 11% unemployment and -1%-1% gdp growth. And this doesn't include a corrupt failure narrative for the stimulus bill that could gain steam in 2010 as economic numbers get worse.

JM Hanes

There's only one kind of campaign that Obama understands, and he can't even figure out when that one is over.

bishop

BTW, some one want to chip in for a hat for David Brooks in say the spring of 2012, he may need it.

RichatUF

I thought David Brooks would want a dress?

Barry Dauphin

JM Hanes

And the consequences of picking up stakes in Afghanistan are barely being discussed. It is victory for Taliban, and inevitably for al Qaeda, including more room to set up shop.

wrt the economy, even CNNMoney is touting that 47% of households will not owe any federal income tax for 2009. Talk about going to "war" with too few resources. How soon will it be over 50% (and if undocumented workers are factored into the workforce and essentially don't pay taxes but are eligible for certain benefits, we are moving over 50%).

Original MikeS

Obama has injected an increased level of uncertainty into every issue he has become involved in. Uncertainty is the result of Obamareign, not just on the issue of the economy, but in international affairs. Who knows what Obama will do in Afghanistan, or Iran? What about Israel?
On the health care issue of higher taxes versus increased rationing, which side will Obama come down on?

JM Hanes

The President's closest personal advisor can't distinguish between military and political campaigns either [emphasis mine]:

"The intelligence that we had from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Chicago bid team was that it was very close and therefore well worth our efforts," said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House advisor."
Jarrett gets the same salary as the President's National Security Advisor, BTW. So does FLOTUS' Chief of Staff.

JM Hanes

Meant to link White House Salaries.

clarice

JMH, Don't you suppose that what you pay people is in large part determined by how you value the positions they hold. I think you've got a blog post in the making.
(editor@americanthinker.com) Tell him I sent you and be patient--it's Sunday.

RichatUF

JM Hanes-

Shows what the priorities are. Let's hope that Obama's National Security advisors have a better sense of Iranian intentions than the Iranian-born Jarrett's sense of Chicago's IOC standing.

Barry Dauphin

"The intelligence that we had from the U.S. Olympic Committee and Chicago bid team was that it was very close and therefore well worth our efforts," said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House advisor."

Oh my, another intelligence failure. Maybe Panetta set up the White House.

bishop

They pay Gibbs the same as Jarrett and Jones,'epic fail' anyone, they pay Rhodes and McDonough less even though they run the policy shop, at the council, not Jones.

The point of intelligence, is you'resupposed
to know the other side, not your own, than again they can't tell the difference

Original MikeS

The intelligence that we had from the U.S. Olympic Committee...

Michelle shoulda behested Plame's husband to go over there and sip some Tuborgs.

RichatUF

Maybe she should have read this:

What enables the enlightened rulers and good generals to conquer the enemy at every move and achieve extraordinary success is foreknowledge. ?

Foreknowledge cannot be elicited from ghosts and spirits;

it cannot be inferred from comparison of previous events, or from the calculations of the heavens, but must be obtained from people who have knowledge of the enemy's situation.

Guess the IOC wasn't too impressed with our community organizer in chief and his retinue of Chicago trash.

RichatUF

Maybe Jarrett was using tarot cards and Cleo's Psychic friends?

Original MikeS

Jarrett's intelligence assets thought it was very close and that a personal appeal from the Pres would make a huge difference.

bishop

How do you say " I am a Dane, (more likely a Danish) in Danske

Neo

Fear of Losing Private Health Insurance Trumps 'Public Option'
Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters nationwide say guaranteeing that no one is forced to change their health insurance coverage is a higher priority than giving consumers the choice of a "public option" health insurance company.

clarice

Jarrett apparently thought that, unlike Chicago, the international set once bought stays bought. Bad mistake.

clarice

Jeg er Dansk
narciso.

willem

Isn't it interesting how many senior members of Obama's administration and inner circle are either foreign born or children of a foreign born parent? Jarrett, Rhambo, Obama and Frank, are a few that immediately come to mind.

Point being, their enculturation as Americans is dissimilar from the rank and file natural born citizen whose links to "the old country" are more balanced and better integrated.

Then there is the matter of foreign agents "seeded" on American soil prior and during the cold war whose purpose was transgenerational political and social activism on behalf of domesticating a foreign political movement.

Our founders thought these fundamental issues mattered. The framers concerns are written into the Constitution. I used to think of their restrictions on eligibility as dated technicalities now likely obsolete.

Looking at the Obama Administration and the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I have a renewed appreciation for the importance of leavened national culture as a defense against pernicious foreign influence infiltrating the national government.

Generational buffers matter. It seems many of the current Administrations mistakes are products of dysfunctional projections based in an elementally faulty gestalt and warped sense of national identity.

Old Dad

A porkulus anecdote. Driving home from work, Friday, I took a side street to beat traffic. Noted a porkulus billboard in the median--traffic sign green, something to the effect of putting Americans to work, National Recovery blah blah. Funny thing, though. No men working, no construction equipment, no definition of the project, no evidence of any work having been done. The street was a comfortable 4 lane boulevard in good repair.

Go figure.

PD

Well, let's see. If we believe the words being mouthed by the Administration (particularly those from the Veep), the economy is recovering. "The stimulus is working." But this is with barely any of the stimulus money having been spent. (What is it, 17%?) Doesn't that mean the stimulus was ineffective and unnecessary, the implication being that the rest of it should be rescinded?

PD

Further, how well is the stimulus working, anyway? Unemployment creeps toward 10%, the very thing the stimulus was to prevent. (Wasn't it supposed to prevent even 8% unemployment?)

Jane

Oh my, another intelligence failure.

I thought that was bizarre language too. Heads must roll.

PD

I hope no one used the words "slam dunk."

Neo

This makes things a little weirder ...

Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has handed the Kremlin a list of Russian scientists believed by the Israelis to be helping Iran to develop a nuclear warhead. He is said to have delivered the list during a mysterious visit to Moscow.
Netanyahu flew to the Russian capital with Uzi Arad, his national security adviser, last month in a private jet.
His office claimed he was in Israel, visiting a secret military establishment at the time. It later emerged that he was holding talks with Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, and President Dmitry Medvedev.
“We have heard that Netanyahu came with a list and concrete evidence showing that Russians are helping the Iranians to develop a bomb,” said a source close to the Russian defence minister last week.

bgates

Willem, the problem isn't that they're related to foreigners, it's that they have the mindset of foreigners. As Clarice noted a few days ago, Hollywood was never more pro-American than when it was run by Russian and German immigrants. Get me a White House staffed with guys who came over from Eastern Europe in the 80s, and we'll get that missile defense unit back in place.

Get me a White House staffed with folks who came over from Vietnam in the 70s, and we'll get Saigon its name back.

Ignatz

--Jarrett's intelligence assets thought it was very close and that a personal appeal from the Pres would make a huge difference.--

Apparently she was correct.

tea anyone

re:Jarrett's intelligence assets thought it was very close and that a personal appeal from the Pres would make a huge difference.

I am certain that Obama's (and the Mrs.) personal appeal did make a huge difference--------It blew the Olympics for Chicago

MayBee

snort.

daddy

OT,

Does anyone know if ACORN or it's subsidiaries get funded through The United Way?

I ask because the annual United Way campaign is ongoing at work, but from previous observations of corruption at places like Combined Federal Campaign, I refuse to donate anything except to my local charities, where I know who the collectors are and where the money's going.

Was just wondering if you guys know if The United Way is in any way a funnel of cash to ACORN.

clarice

I think it depends on the location because I believe each United Way selects which charities it funds, but I did read of one city where ACORN was on the UW roster, daddy.

Old Lurker

Me too, Daddy. I have seen ACORN listed by some of the local United Ways.

RichatUF

daddy-

Seems so. Didn't look at the whole thread, but a good rule of thumb is that if it is Big Charity some version of the ponzi scheme know as ACORN is getting money.

daddy

"but I did read of one city where ACORN was on the UW roster"

Thanks Clarice.

That seals it for me. Until I hear otherwise I will now consider the burden of proof of ACORN not receiving charity funding to be upon The United Way and not upon me.

Rob Crawford

See if you can designate who receives your UW donation. I made sure mine went to the Boy Scouts.

centralcal

I have always favored Salvation Army because I haven't heard of any scandals etc. connected to them. I am almost afraid to ask - is there anything about them I should know?

Rick Ballard

cc,

I'ver read that they are heavily infiltrated by Christianist elements. You may want to keep that in mind.

daddy

Hee hee Rick:)

LOL

bishop

Yeah, didn't the UW have this big scandal with that fellow Aramony, sometime back. I don't recall anything with the Salvation Army.

The mindse is important, not so much the nationality. Who's the most pro American broadcast honcho, Rupert the Australian, the most valuable Op ed, Mark Steyn
and O'Sullivan. For sheer knowledge and wisdom on the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, From the Levant proper we have Adjami and Phares. I used to think. For Latin America
Montaner, Plinio Mendoza (Columbia)Vargas
Llosa, the Peruvian Tom Wolfe, used to be
be good, I followed his quixotic 1990 presidential campaign, he's still good against Chavez but has succumbed to a dose
of Arabism on other topics

clarice

Here, UW is regularly involved in pelf of high officials who already earn far more than heads of charities should get. I haven't given to UW for decades. Way too much taken off the top. Salvation Army is great.So it Make a Smile Foundation; Chabad; several outfits that help the military and their families.

Also off my list for good and I mean for good is the Red Cross and all the big disease outfits whose administrative costs are outrageous.I also refuse to give to the general alumni fund of my college and law school, being very selective about which programs I will support,

TM's wife works for a great charity in Conn which has virtually no overhead costs and I regret I've forgotten its name.

Rob Crawford

I am almost afraid to ask - is there anything about them I should know?

Fans of Robert Asprin will remember they didn't help Aahz and Skeeve.

But nothing in the real world.

centralcal

Perfect, Rick B!

I am with Clarice on Red Cross. In my early twenties I got really turned off of them after reading a book (time passes, memory fades, but it was about hemophiliacs) about how corrupt they were. In subsequent years my disdain for them grew increasingly.

Whenever I am pressured by Red Cross (which is more often than I would like), I deliberately send money to Salvation Army instead (who didn't ask) and tell the R.C. that their solicitation reminded me of a really good charity.

jimmyk

See if you can designate who receives your UW donation. I made sure mine went to the Boy Scouts.

I've never been convinced that that works, because of the fungibility of money. UW can say they're giving your money to the Boy Scouts, but I suspect it all goes into a pot and they dole it out as they see fit. Unless you feel compelled to give to UW, just donate directly to the Boy Scouts.

jimmyk

See if you can designate who receives your UW donation. I made sure mine went to the Boy Scouts.

I've never been convinced that that works, because of the fungibility of money. UW can say they're giving your money to the Boy Scouts, but I suspect it all goes into a pot and they dole it out as they see fit. Unless you feel compelled to give to UW, just donate directly to the Boy Scouts.

jimmyk

See if you can designate who receives your UW donation. I made sure mine went to the Boy Scouts.

I've never been convinced that that works, because of the fungibility of money. UW can say they're giving your money to the Boy Scouts, but I suspect it all goes into a pot and they dole it out as they see fit. Unless you feel compelled to give to UW, just donate directly to the Boy Scouts.

centralcal

Speaking of charities and while Clarice is about, there is something I have wanted to ask for quite some time.

There is a Jewish/Israel group that frequently advertises on cable t.v. I especially noticed them during the most recent skirmishes between Israel and the thugs in their backyard. Are they a good group to donate to? (Sorry, I can't remember their name - but they ask if you are a "friend" of Israel to let them know.) They never ask outright for a monetary donation, but I assume that is what they are after. I am a friend of Israel and don't always know the best avenue to express that vis-a-vis a donation.

Old Lurker

My pet peeves on nonprofits that want my money are: 1)how much of each dollar donated is spent on raising that dollar, 2)how much of each dollar raised is spent on "overhead", 3)how much are the executives paid, and 4)stemming from 1-3, how much of the money raised actually gets spent on the mission that attracted me to it in the first place?

Forbes and others have spent several years encouraging donors to consider those things and to stop feeding the chronic abusers.

Now you can find that data easily at "Guidestar.org", LUN, particularly if you look at the IRS 990's that nonprofits file and which Guidestar makes public. Schools are listed too, and you might be surprised how much some of those folks get paid.

Giving money to good causes is hard because as others said above, a whole culture has grown up around abusing the generous public. Some of the personal enrichment is shocking.

Then again, some are very, very deserving.

Boatbuilder

Re: foreign-born Americans: There's a very nice review by Andy Borowitz of comedian Craig Ferguson's book American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot in, of all places, the NYT Book Review. Borowitz closing line: "To be an American this patriotic, it probably helps to be Scottish".
I have always found Ferguson to be hilarious, but only watch him during bouts of insomnia. Time to fire up the VCR.

Gmax

They UW designation trick is just that. They do not add up all of the designations and see if it exceeds their allocation, they just compare your designation against the total given, and since the total is more than just yours, done.

See how that works? I tell United Way that I will give directly and I dont need their help.

clarice

cc--I don't know which charity you are referring to so I have a hard time responding.
Joint Distribution Committee works there and around the world--they got Muslims out of Bosnia when their lives were in danger there.
Mogen Dovid is the Israeli emergency disaster op .
Jewish National Fund works to reclaim the land.

Rob Crawford

Unless you feel compelled to give to UW, just donate directly to the Boy Scouts.

My employer offers "incentives" for donating to UW. For $2 a week, you get to wear jeans on Friday for half the year (the Fine Arts Fund covers the rest of the year) and if enough people in your section donate, you get a half day of vacation. My upcoming vacation is starting a half day early thanks to this policy.

My real charitable donations are direct to the charities.

glasater

What is rather bad about UW is that they almost blackmail service organizations like Rotary and Exchange to give money to them. And all the small businesses are hit up tremendously.

After all the phony stuff Red Cross pulled in the aftermath of Katrina I will never donate money to that organization again.
Blood yes but not any cash.

Gregory Koster

I don't know what everyone is so worried about: we have a White House staffed with alums from all sorts of American universities: Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia...Stand back please, and someone hand Clarice the cream pie with a brick in it that she's going to heave at me after this crack....

If you have a pet charity and it isn't included in United Way's list, suggest to them that they include it. I did that once and was one for two in getting them adopted.

Guidestar: good source but not definitive. It requires registration for starters. Try looking up the San Diego branch of ACORN for example. The Better Business Bureau can be helpful, but they aren't perfect either: they rate the Baltimore ACORN at C, based on 1 complaint. Hmm. Maybe they used to rate subprime securities for Moody's...

Finally, there's the Reference USA business database. This subscription database is often available through your public library (advt.) It doesn't rate charities, nor have them all. But it often has lists of people in management, and also public filings i.e. liens if they haven't been paying bills.

Glenn Reynolds is right: until the IRS starts auditing nonprofits the way they audit profits, grafters are going to inhabit the nonprofit world. But auditing nonprofits has plenty of thorns alongside the roses.

matt

I was on the board of the local UW years ago for @ 18 months. I left when I finally couldn't stand the inertia and politics any longer.UW also eats up a very large chunk of overhead. My beloved is a Rotarian, and they seem to be a real rubber to the road organization.

I decided then to identify the most direct applications of aid and those with the lowest overheard. I ended up primarily with church related organizations or those directly aiding a particular constituency.

Old Lurker

I find one layer of overhead is better than two. Plus the more organizations have to answer directly to donors, as opposed to some aggregator, the better. Takes more work by the donors to do the homework, but it does make a difference in my opinion. It's much better fror 80% to go to the mission and 20% to overhead and fundraising than the other way around.

It is true that employer matching if limited to gifts to only their conduit does complicate the process, I agree.

clarice

Exactly, matt. My husband and I collect all the solicitations in a pile and then discard all those that have more than minimal administrative overhead.

AIP rates charities on the way they handle their funds:

They give a top rating to AmeriCare which is the organization Mrs. TM works for: http://www.americares.org/aboutus/history/

CC: Here's how they rate the Israeli oriented charities:
American Jewish Committee A
American Jewish World Service A
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith & Foundation B+
Hadassah A
Jewish National Fund A
MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger A
New Israel Fund & Signing Anew A

bishop

Yes, you're just begging for trouble there, Greg, Van Jones (Yale Law) Romer(Berkeley)Goolsbee (U Chicago)I don't know where Bernstein came from, but the fact that he's CBPP and Biden's economic advisor, well it doesn't inspire confidence.Geithner(Princeton)

clarice

AIP takes some issue with Smile Train, but I think it's a fantastic operation and always give to it, too.

William Teach

Obama reminds me more of General George McClellan. He had everything going for him. A bigger army, better trained and equipped men, yet, had a horrible time with the Peninsula Campaign, and let Lee's army escape from the Battle of Antietam.

Obama's got a vast army of people he can call on, control of Congress, and is a great speaker, yet, he cannot close the deal, cannot truly motivate people now that he has won the job.

Jane

What is rather bad about UW is that they almost blackmail service organizations like Rotary and Exchange to give money to them.

Glasater,

I'm in Rotary and we don't give them a dime.

Janet

CC - I know people that have been saved (physically, and spiritually) through Salvation Army. Unglamorous, but serious rehab. They tend to speak very highly of it. I'm a direct giver - NOT through United Way. I would never give to the Red Cross.

Please, the name of the Connecticut charity.

I've been everywhere, man, and everywhere I've been the Salvation Army would take care of women with children if they were in trouble and needy. There would always be something open up.
==============================

Try to remember the lives without number.

Ah, I see, AmeriCare. Hmmm. Sounds like......well, I don't know. Maybe that name's not too bad. It is easy to remember.
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sbw

If I were the Israeli PM visiting Putin, I would have told Putin that a couple of Israeli bombs have been squirreled away elsewhere, so that if Israel is touched by Iranian Nukes, because of their meddling Putin can kiss Moscow goodbye?

clarice

Well, I don't suppose I'd put it quite that way,SBW. I wonder how and if this fits in with that "pirated" Russian ship?

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Wilson/Plame