“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What Would You Do to Improve Job Growth?


What Would You Do to Improve Job Growth?

Reason asks economists, writers, and wonks for real ways to increase job growth

In an effort to produce real free-market ideas for boosting employment, Reason asked some of their favorite economists, writers, professors, and entrepreneurs for one concrete policy change they would recommend that would increase job growth. Here is an edited list. Link to Reason for more info:

Robert Higgs
Repeal of ObamaCare would probably do wonders to spur hiring, especially for permanent positions. Compensation for such jobs usually includes a benefits package with health care insurance, as well as a money wage or salary. Health care insurance often constitutes a major part of the employer’s cost of keeping a permanent worker on the payroll, and anything that makes this cost difficult to forecast makes employers leery to take on new workers. 
Deirdre McCloskey
"Jobs" are deals between workers and employers, and so "creating" them out of unwilling parties is impossible. The state, though, can outlaw deals, and has. So: eliminate the minimum wage for people younger than 25. The resulting boom in jobs for young people will amaze. Maybe it will inspire voters to get the state out of the job-outlawing business. Probably not, so sure are we that the state "protects" by stopping deals between willing parties.
Amity Shlaes
The single thing the U.S. could do to ensure long-term growth, including that of jobs, is to reform our Federal Reserve so that monetary policy is rules-based, not personality-based. Even a return to the gold standard would do, though it is also possible to fashion a monetary regime under which the currency is pegged to a basket of commodities. 
John Stossel
Close the Departments of Labor, Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, and HUD, then eliminate three fourths of all regulations.
Donald Boudreaux
My answer (within the realm of “remotely politically possible”) is: Replace all income taxes, including that on capital gains, with a consumption tax. But do this only if the Constitution is amended to prevent government from taxing incomes and capital gains.                     
A second, less radical, proposal is to eliminate capital gains taxes and amend the Constitution to prevent Uncle Sam from taxing personal and corporate incomes at marginal rates higher than 20 percent.
Bryan Caplan
Easy: Cut employers’ share of the payroll tax.
Bruce Bartlett
I don’t believe there is any way to increase employment significantly without raising the rate of economic growth. Therefore, the real question is how to raise economic growth. I continue to believe that the economy’s fundamental problem is a lack of aggregate demand.
I think a dose of inflation is just what the economy needs and libertarians should stop being so obsessive about it. Moreover, I think at some point they need to admit that the Fed cannot raise aggregate demand by itself when the economy is in a liquidity trap, which it obviously is based on the level of interest rates being close to zero.
Under these circumstances, I believe that some form of aggressive fiscal policy is necessary to get money circulating, raise the velocity of money, and get the economy out of a liquidity trap. I do not believe, under current circumstances, there is any type of tax cut that would achieve this goal; only direct spending by the government on purchases of goods and services will help. Therefore, the Fed will, somehow or other, have to figure out how to raise aggregate demand by itself.
Jeffrey Miron
Policymakers should stop worrying about job growth. Instead, they should focus on eliminating economic policies that impede economic efficiency—runaway entitlements, a horrendous tax code, excessive regulation, impediments to free trade, and more—and then let the job situation fix itself.
John Berlau
Repeal portions of the Bush-era Sarbanes-Oxley Act to make it easier for smaller companies to raise capital by going public, and thus expand and create thousands more jobs.
Repeal portions of last year's Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which has created hundreds of pending rules causing uncertainty and a halt in hiring for everyone from banks and credit unions to retailers and manufacturers that extend credit or hedge financial risks with derivatives.
Pass the bipartisan Small Business Lending Enhancement Act—S. 509 by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), and in HR 1418, by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.)—to lift the aribitrary cap on business lending by credit unions. The Credit Union National Association estimates that easing this barrier would create over 140,000 jobs in the first year and thousands more in the years after that.

Walter Olson
If I could press a button and instantly vaporize one sector of employment law, I think I'd pick age discrimination.
Ira Stoll

Congress should stop extending unemployment benefits, and better yet, restructure the unemployment insurance program or block-grant it to the states to allow them to experiment with ways of doing so. The idea is to change the program so it creates an incentive for recipients to get a job, rather than an incentive for them to remain unemployed.

Alex Tabarrok
QE3: Fed should buy lots of long term T-bonds.
Fred L. Smith
Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline: 20,000 jobs created. The 1,700 mile Keystone XL Pipeline would link expanding Canadian crude production from tar sands with America’s first-class refining hub in the Midwest and along the Gulf. The $7 billion project would roughly double U.S. imports of tar sands oil from western Canada.


  1. I am sure you have many more ideas. Everyone seems to have them except for Barry, the Harvard Genius.

    Alex Tabarrok comment "QE3: Fed should buy lots of long term T-bonds." is interesting. How would that work?

  2. Donald Boudreaux may be on the right track. Especially about the capital gains. I want to buy motor home!

    There are seven or eight manufactured items of a big sort I'd buy without the capital gains tax. And, I might build a home out on the farm, employ builders....and I'd "buy American".


  3. .

    Great subject Deuce.

    All D.C. offers are generalities and bromides. Although they all talk about jobs, they haven't a clue (or a concern?).

    Busy right now but it will be interesting to see what responses you get today. Hopefully, some are not only sensible but actually doable in the short to midterm, not just pie-in-the-sky wants.


  4. Build an ethanol refinery in every county.

    Government can guarantee 80% of the loans, and give special tax consideration to the Trillions that are sitting Untaxed in Offshore Accounts that are brought home and invested in same.

  5. I believe that some form of aggressive fiscal policy is necessary to get money circulating, raise the velocity of money, and get the economy out of a liquidity trap. I do not believe, under current circumstances, there is any type of tax cut that would achieve this goal; only direct spending by the government on purchases of goods and services will help.

    Mint those trillion dollar coins, dedicating their "lock boxed" value to pay the interest upon the $12 trillion current debt.

    The Fed cannot do that, only the Treasury, empowered by Congress can.

    The Federal budget would become balanced and the velocity of money circulating would definitely put fears of further deflation to rest.

  6. The average county (100,000 people) gathers together $2 Million every Monday, and sends it to Saudi Arabia, et al. That money doesn't come home.

    Money has plenty of "Velocity." It's just that it's Flying out the Window.

  7. There is some truth to that, rufus.

    Our little County, it has a population of 4 million.

  8. Roughly, $80,000,000.00, Rat. Flyin' out the window. Every Week. Gone away. To Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait, etc.

  9. Look to Iowa. No 10% Unemployment, there. Highest they got was 6%.

    No oil wells. No nat gas to speak of. No coal.

    They are within a hair's breadth of being a "Net Energy Exporter."

    How? Wind, and Ethanol. and, increasingly, biodiesel.

    Within 5 yrs they probably Will be a net energy exporter. And, a Food Exporter. They also have one of the very highest rated k-12 systems in the country. And, a low cost of living.

  10. Iowa get 20% of its electricity from Wind.

    85% say they want More wind energy.

  11. The IEA is putting One Million Barrels of Oil on the Market Every Day.

    But, that program only has about 30 days to run. Then What?

  12. I'll tell you what.

    Gasoliine prices head back up, and that little improvement in the economy we've seen the last month goes away; That's what.

  13. We can't live like this. It was bad enough when they sent the shoe factory to China. Now, Joe is trying to pick up what work he can, and he and Jane are sending $100.00/wk to the King of Saudi Arabia.

    And, these assholes in the Ivory Tower want to know what's wrong with the economy?

    I want to know "what's wrong" with their fucking brain pans?

  14. How about $880,000,000.00/Month that Rat's little county is spending in his, and a few surrounding counties, and Not sending to Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait?

    How much difference would That make in the local economy?

  15. Not one Politician, Not one talking head has mentioned in the last month that we're drawing down A Million Barrels/Day from our Strategic Petroleum Reserves.

    Not Fucking One!

    We're taking a half a million/day, and Europe is taking a half a million/day. No One is saying a Word about it.

    Wouldn't you think THAT would be worth Mentioning?

  16. Libya will be back on line, rufus.

    They're counting the minutes.

  17. Yeah, any minute now. Fer sure.

  18. Kinda like all that Saudi "spare capacity." they're gonna bring it up any day now. :)

  19. .

    Just checking back in before heading out again.

    Damn, it's good to see we've got a lot of new ideas pouring in.



  20. If you've got any Quirk, let's hear'em.

  21. I've been stating here, the whole time, Q, that business went to hell in my area around the end of Feb.

    The only thing I could see that happened was gasoline prices shot through $3.25, and were heading for $3.50.

    If you know anything else that happened then, let me know. I'd love to hear it.

  22. .

    I don't have many and most of them wouldn't be good for the short term. Add to that that they would require investment and they are at best pie-in-the-sky like many I have seen here.

    Some off the top of my head would be to invest in

    Infrastructure: medium term jobs benefits and long-term economic benefits. If Obama was actually worried about jobs he should have done this 2 1/2 years ago.

    Job Training: There are millions out there that had good paying jobs before the crash. They are likely not dummies and could be readily trained. The problem? If the government won't invest how are you going to get private companies to invest in it when you have some of these companies unwilling to hire someone unless that someone already has a job.

    Incentives: For kids to go into the fields we actually need, IT, Science, Math. It's been reported in various places that there are 3 million jobs out there where firms can't find qualified applicants for. Today kids are still going into fields that are either overcrowded or on their way out. Industrial policy along these lines is somthing I could support.

    Unemployment Benefits: I know many will scream about this one but I am just looking at the numbers. While it is true that some have projected that extended unemployment benefits actually contribute to unemployment, the studies I have seen show its is by a very small percentage. On the other hand CBO, the FED (I think), and other private think thanks project that the multiplier effect of the benefits is $1.4 per $1 spend contribution to GDP.

    I'm sure there are others along these lines but I need to run to the library to check out Value Line.


  23. .

    The only thing I could see that happened was gasoline prices shot through $3.25, and were heading for $3.50.

    Of course Rufus. When that is the only thing you are looking for, that is the only thing you will see.

    As for your area, obviously being unfamiliar with it, I can't comment. However, looking at the macro economy, a lot happended. You had the Japanese earthquake, geopolitical events (the Arab Spring, Egypt, Libya, etc.), Greece and the bank and economic turmoil in the EU, the end Of QE2, the political conflict over the debt ceiling, mixed profit and growth projections from business, etc.

    I could go on but my wife is waiting for me.


  24. Well, Billy Bob is 39 yrs old, and he's an electrician. And, his brother, Bubba, is 37, and he's a steelworker.

    While we're training Billy Bob, and Bubba's kids to be IT Engineers we've got to put the brothers back to work doing what they know how to do, and in a job that is Needed.

    I can't think of a thing in the world that is needed more than cheap, locally-produced energy.

    If we can get Billy Bob, and Bubba off unemployment, and their families off food assistance, and Medicaid, and get the boys working and paying taxes while, at the same time, building plants that will provide jobs, and cheap energy for the local economy it looks to me like the way to go.

    Of course, Exxon, and the Saudis aren't going to like it, but you can't have "everything," right?

  25. The Floods, and the Tsunami came After the economy tanked.

  26. As for the Arab Spring: The only part that mattered was Libya, and their exports production for February Were Normal.

    Their production didn't start falling until March, which means their "exports" weren't being missed until April.

    But, keep trying.

  27. As for Quantitative Easing: it didn't end until the last of June.

  28. Before any of these things happened, the parking lots at the Tunica Casinos were Jam-Packed. By the end of Feb they were half empty.

  29. And, they've remained that way to this day.

  30. I would expand Rufus' idea to include other alternatives to fossil fuel. I would fund it by by having the Treasury issue special bonds, secured by the project, directlty to the entrepreneur which could be discounted for cash at the Fed. This would bypass the banks and Wall Street and get cash invested directly into the system. The bonds would require the creation of one job per $100,000. The combination would require no foreign borrowings, would all go to investment, improve our trade balance, create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

  31. When the economy is stagnant, as it is now, the government has tools to create employment, for example:

    1. Impulse public works
    2. Make the US a tourist destination. Spain is famous for that
    3. Force the Chinese and other countries to balance the trade deficit
    4. Save on oil consumption. Americans drive too many cars just to go to the grocery store to get milk.
    5. Eliminate government waste
    6. Reduce corporate taxes for US corporations that bring their money back to the US
    7. Educate the labor force in new technologies
    8. Make America healthier by fostering healthy lifestyles. This save money on health care
    9. Americans have the lowest savings ratio in the world. For 1 dollar saved, the government matches you a percentage towards your education.
    10. Lower the costs of public education. America has the highest tuition costs of any country in the world. In France and Germany students get their education for free. show less

  32. Any ideas that don't involve oil?

  33. The way I see it, Doug: First things First.

  34. I Love Wind, and Solar. Cheap energy brings Manufacturing.

    I actually love Nat Gas. I'm just a little leery of how low the prices can actually stay.

    To an advanced society, energy is life. Cheap energy is prosperity.

  35. Technology will, in the end, save us all. I just don't want my kids, and grandkids, to have to go through 20 yrs of Depression waiting for it to happen.

  36. And, our Corporate Tax System IS a joke. We need to get that down to some reasonable level 10 to 15%, and put an end to that foreign tax haven loophole.

    Charge a very Competitve Rate, and make them "Payable Now."

  37. For ex: The parts business is a multi-Billion Dollar business for Caterpillar.

    The parts are manufactured in Moline, shipped from Moline, and benefit from U.S. subsidized infrastructure.

    yet, the "headquarters" for this business has been moved to a small office in Switzerland. The Taxes go to the Swiss, and, in turn, the Dollars are invested all around the world EXCEPT in the U.S.

    This is Absurd. We are being played like chumps.

  38. And, it's not so much the tax dollars. We are "Locking Out" the INVESTMENT Dollars.

    It's bizarre.

  39. -outlaw the importation of all fuels and or imports from any opec nation past the the exact amount of their imports from the USA.

    -a out going tax on any products that are being imported by any opec nation that equals the same % of mark up as the oil they sell to us.

    Example. Arabia sells us a barrel of oil at 87 dollars. their actual cost is $5.60.

    the Difference shall be applied as a % to all food, medicine, weapons and other products they buy.

    oh and a domestic energy binge that opens up the gulk, ak, montana, coal to production. With the stated goal is to be an energy exporter in 9 years.

  40. Hell, just mint them trillion dollar platinum coins, our troubles is over.



    Let's see. The Ancient Romans brought Christianity to America, islam is a religion of individualism, we should sell off the national parks and forests to the rich, we have total control of our borders, the muzzie bros are no threat to Egypt, the Israelis are occupiers of other's lands, but rat don't occupy Phoenix, Arizona, and so much more pure b.s.

    rat is an intellectual yob (contradiction here) of the very first order.

    And he never laughs.

    Needs the U of I forced laughter clinic.


    Print trillion dollar platinum coins.

    O hahahahahahhahahahhahahhahahha

    Like habu - I go now.


  41. If we could have a Triple Dip Obama would do it, one more teachable moment, that America is nothing special.

  42. T, in my opinion, we Will have a Triple Dip.

    And, a Quadruple Dip.

    And, a Quintuple Dip.

    With each "peak" being slightly lower than the one before.

    Some refer to it as "The Long Recession."

    Others might call it, "That Damned Depression."

  43. We face a lower-energy future and the problems this will pose for a population that keeps growing as our ability to service its needs is running into a nexus of constraints for which there is no obvious solution.

    "A culture of entrepreneurship" is like a magical incantation....and fails to deal with the population pressure, peak oil or climate change. They aren't even acknowledged.

    Here's what happened:

    1. High-paying jobs in the West became low-paying jobs in Asia.
    2. Consumers on stagnant or falling incomes have less to spend and pay less tax.
    3. Creating an unsustainable debt mountain at every level - from families to countries - temporarily masked the effects of "creative destruction".
    4. The only way to fill the growing revenue gap was closed off as governments moved to cut taxes on people who still had high earnings.

    So we have a recession that will become a depression...and it won't end.

    It won't matter what culture you have....9 billion people can't survive in a post-oil world, never mind prosper.

    It's over.

  44. Is there a politician alive who has not warned Americans of crashing finances, out of control spending, and imminent financial collapse. Indeed, we get this speech from many of those politicians who are the very ones responsible for the financial collapse of America.

    Finally, after this specific recitation of damage, something suddenly happens to all this specificity; frankly, it vanishes; after which, we are treated once again to one vacuous and empty phrase after another. We need to do something with entitlements. Sure, of course, so what exactly?We need to reorient America to a path of fiscal sanity. A No Brainer, But precisely what is that path? We need to address out of control entitlements. We've heard all that.But what precisely do you intend to do? And so on and so on as America continues her downwards trajectory. Americans are not stupid. We know that this politicians over the years have betrayed the people of have voted them into office just as they have repudiated and American Constitution
    and the rule of law.

  45. America has enjoyed fairly low gas prices when compared with European counterparts. Check out how US prices for gas at the pump compare with those of Europe. Unfortunately, if the dollar loses its status as the currency for dealing in oil, the US will be in instant trouble. Countries in the far east are already looking at the printing press operation and they want out.

    Rufus is on the mark. No domestic emerging energy industry and there will be no jobs. Then as Dr Dave so cheerfully notes, it will be over.

  46. Obama is the biggest obstacle to america's future prosperity. Paul Ryan in 2012!!!!

  47. Her are the facts as I see them:

    1. We lost 8,750,000 jobs in the Great Recession, which ended in June 2009 - that's 25 months ago - and we've added only 1,900,000 jobs since then. That is, we've replaced only 22 percent of the jobs we lost. We have to add 6,953,000 more jobs just to get back to where we were before the recession. Adding 100,000 jobs is just a small drop in the bucket.

    2. In normal times, we need to add about 100,000 jobs per month just to meet the new people entering the job market. Again, these so called new jobs didn't even meet the needs of new first time job seekers.

    3. Do the math: if we add 300,000 jobs per month (which would be exceptional in this recovery), we will not get back to pre-recession levels until July 2013. There is no chance of that happening.

    Just ask anyone if the Great Recession is over (remember that the recession is over because the nation is producing more than ever before), and most people will tell you that it is not over. Why? Jobs have not come back, and that's the measure most people use to gauge the economy. Until jobs do return with a vigor, it's clear that any incumbent who governed during this recovery is going to have a hard time being re-elected. I expect that the next election will be, to say the least, very interesting and probably very close, and regardless of the outcome it will hardly make a difference.

  48. The World is in Financial disarray. Half of the World's Economists thinks it is the end of the
    way things were. The other half say "No" this is only a minor fluctuation. I see no discussion, no thoughts or ideas from you people.

    What, this is not enough challenge ?

    Sorry...Economics is not a science. You can't be good in this field if you have no ideas. Our
    Asian friends are very actively pursuing a future for their people and their country. China is buying all the world's resource and we are not going to have enough money to buy cement. What are you going to do?

  49. Obama will not rest till he gets all those people back to work:

    President Obama went golfing today, heading out for the 18th time this year and for the 76th time in his presidency

    He is sharpening up so that he looks in Martha's Vineyard.

  50. Oops, an honest man speaks the obvious and…

    Historian David Starkey sparked outrage last night by claiming that Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech had been right and blaming ‘black culture’ for the riots.
    He said white youths had adopted a black culture which promoted the violence and looting.
    Mr Starkey claimed Powell’s infamous 1968 speech had been right in one sense, but it wasn’t inter-communal violence that was the problem...‘A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become fashion, and the black and white, boy and girl, operate in this language together.
    'This language is wholly false. It is a Jamaican patois that has intruded in England, which is why so many of us have this sense that we are literally living in a foreign country.,,‘It is about black culture, that is the enormously important thing, it is not skin colour, it is culture.’

    Read more:

  51. PSALM 2011 Obama is the shepherd I did not want. He leadeth me beside the still factories. He restoreth my faith in the GOP. He guideth me in the path of unemployment for his party's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of bread lines, I shall fear no hunger, for his bailouts are with me. He has anointed my income with taxes, my expenses runneth over. Surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all the days of my life, And I will live in a mortgaged home forever.

  52. Here's the thing. We CAN replace oil.

    We couldn't replace All Oil, Tomorrow. But, we don't have to replace All oil, Tomorrow.

    We just need to get busy replacing Some oil, Tomorrow.

    And, we have to get busy Conserving oil, tomorrow.

    And, That's pretty simple. If you Need a 400 HP Truck, buy a 400 HP Truck. But, if a 300 HP Turbo-Six looks just as cool, and meets all your needs, buy the 300 HP Truck. (people are doing this already, btw.)

  53. Just understand that the oil companies, and their employees at Fox News, and their Sock-Puppets in Congress are Lying to you.

    Oil Exports have fallen every year since 2005, and will continue to fall. China, India, OPEC, and the other Emerging economies will continue to be able to buy more, and more oil. The "Price of Pussy" IS Going Up.

  54. We're taking oil out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

    Rat was right. They Were hoping that Libya would get back online. But, News Flash, it doesn't matter if they do, or not. If they came back online tomorrow, it would just slow the problem for six to twelve months, at most.

    Net oil Exports have been Dropping since 2005. They are going to continue to fall.

    Half the politicians are ignorant of the problem (they believe Exxon, and Shell,) and the other half are scared to death to talk about it.

    People Hate the harbinger of Bad News. especially, when the news is really, really bad.

    They hate even worse "those that predict bad things."

    Prognosticators that give consistently upbeat forcasts, and are consistently wrong are much more highly valued than those that have predicted disasters, and have been proven right. It's a fact; I read it on the internet. :)

  55. You could create three times as many jobs per federal dollar spent by simply digging holes and filling them back up. The only overhead is for the shovels.

    Once the federal money dries up the job goes away. Not true for major capital projects. Once the project is built, the economic climate is improved to facilitate job growth.

    The point is that the federal government's job is not to create an immediate job just to say a job was created.

    Thoughtful infrastructure investment should be focused on creating the conditions for long-term economic growth which leads to more sustainable job growth.

    Projects that fit the bill are those that relieve congestion, improve the efficiency of freight logistics, save lives (think about the cost of crashes on society), etc.

  56. The main destructors of roads are large trucks. They account for something like 95% of the Damage. A tremendous amount of freight is being shifted from trucks to rail, already. Rail uses something like 1/10 the fuel/lb as trucks.

    The railroads are minting money. They have plenty of money to rebuild/repair/extend their own infrastructure.

    Cars are getting smaller, and lighter. And, there are fewer on the roads today than there were 3 years ago.

    Sewer/water systems are localized problems, and can be paid for through local taxes.

    The Federal Government needs to concentrate on the "Main" thang. The "Main Thang" is Balance of Trade/Fuel.

    The most bang for the buck, right now, from the Federal Gov. would be to get behind, and push like hell for Cellulosic Ethanol Refineries, and Distribution.

    We are blessed with the arable land, and we have the out of work construction workers with the proper skillsets.

    The processes, and enzymes are in place for $2.00/gal (wholesale) cellulosic ethanol. But, the Refineries are expensive, and the enemy list (Sauds, Exxon, Tea Party, Koch Bros) is awe-inspiring.

    The industry needs some back-up. And, Coburn, inhofe, Demint, et al are fighting like hell to make sure they don't get it.

  57. There is nothing to laugh at, boobie, here at the Elephant Bar.

    Certainly not the political climate. Nor the prognostications of the patrons.

    Mr Perry may have the capability to ride to the rescue, none of the other aspirants do. Even if they were to win the White House.

    Which leaves us with habu, the only fella that spoke to the derivative market debacle, well before it was above the fold and way before I had the slightest idea of what he was talking about.

  58. We're paying landowners Not to plant on 30,000,000 Acres.

    Put that land in switchgrass, and increase the mileage of our cars by only 50% (easy as falling off a log,) and we're, basically, Out of the "Oil Importing Business."

    And, we're rocking and rolling, again.

  59. from Dennis Prager --

    What are the six biggest employers in the world?

    1. Chinese Liberation Army
    2. Wal-Mart
    3. Chinese National Oil, Gas, Coal
    4. Chinese National Train System
    5. National Train System of India
    6. England's National Health Service




  60. You couldn't find anything to laugh at anywhere yobborat, it's just the way you are.


  61. Perry knee-capped the ethanol business in Texas, and fought against Solar (the most promising Solar state in the Universe.)

    He fought against Jan Brewer's attempts to get illegal immigration under control, and he has an approx $26 Billion shortfall coming up in 2012. Texas unemployment ticked UP from 8.0 to 8.2% in the last go-round.

    I don't much trust Perry.

    Between him and Obama, I'm sad to say, but I'll have to vote for the O'Man. At least, he has some sort of an Energy Vision. It'll be a Sad day, but I'll have to do it.

  62. Not at all, boobie, not at all.

    It's just this Elephant is not the appropriate locale for shucks and chuckles.

    The comedy I see, here, it seems well beyond your depth of understanding.
    Which is that of an alfalfa farmer that never knew the nature of the value of his product.

    Even if you had never had a second cutting, to not know of it's enhanced market value, beyond funny, it's hilarious.

    I wouldn't have mentioned it, but you brought it up. Old timer.

    Better find a professional diagnostician.

  63. Oh, that's right ...
    You can't fix stupid.


  64. We're producing about 45 Billion Gallons of Gasoline/Yr from our Own Oil, Now. And, we're getting up close to 15 Billion Gallons of Ethanol from Corn. That's 60 Billion.

    Pick up another 30 Billion Gallons from the CRP land, and we're at 90 Billion Gallons/Yr. We cut our usage from 135 Billion Gallons/Yr by 1/3, and we're producing All of our own Gasoline.

    That leaves us looking for 1.7 million barrels/day of diesel. We continue our switchover to rail of maybe another million bbl/day, and get the rest easy.

    We're home free.

    And, this is where we, ultimately, bury China; because, They can't do this. I guarantee you.

  65. That's why, in the long run, the "Doomers" are wrong. And, why, in the short run, the cornucopians are hash.

    We have the answers, and the capabilities, staring us right in the face. It's just that, while I thought he was just being wry, Churchill was deadly serious when he said, "The Americans always get it right. After they've tried everything else, first."

  66. As reported by CNN:

    "We think a them Mormons as bein' in kind of a cult," one of the Houston rally attendees told me. "I couldn't vote for one a them when we got a real Christian like Governor Perry runnin'."

  67. Ah, you see yobborat, I'd never bothered myself with such a shit loser as alfalfa.

    Kind of shit crop that is grown mostly in Arizona.

    2nd cutting is something of a rarity here, when it is grown at all, but it sure do grow good wheat, without sprinklers too.

    Reason we are growing alfalfa is because it's in the city now and it doesn't demand things that might cause trouble.

    Out in wheat country you don't see it at all. We are growing hard red winter now, along with the usual soft white, and lots of garbanzo beans, very little barley this year, don't know what the reason is, and the usual mixture of rape, canola, various kinds of peas. Just to bring you up to speed.


  68. Said Trish: "rat, there's something really wrong with you."

    Sun going down, bedtime.


  69. You're the one who claimed to be an alfalfa farmer, boobie.

    If that makes you a loser, well ...

    There you have it.

    Old Timer.

    Find that diagnostician

  70. Those Israeli, little wonder the need our loan guarantees and research grants.

    The "Real" people are in the streets, of Israel.

    In Haifa, the leader of Haifa’s Carmel tent city, Yossi Baruch, told the protesters gathered in the German Colony:

    “We know what we want. We want a welfare state. Free education for every girl and boy, from the moment maternity leave ends and until the child finishes a doctorate. A welfare state whose citizens are paid a fair wage.

    This is a long-range struggle and it doesn’t matter if Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] falls in a week, a month or a year. Bibli will fall. So will Steinitz and so will Lieberman, he said, referring to the finance minister and the foreign minister, respectively.

    But another activist, Guy Goldstein from the Dror Israel movement, said from the dais: “We are not against a specific person, we’re against a policy, we are for a welfare state.”

    Cannot have what those folks want and a fleet of nuclear attack submarines, both. Not with just six million people tucked into the area equal to that of Maricopa County, Arizona.


  71. IDF budget in the crosshairs of government’s socioeconomic panel

    In bid to solve middle-class woes, Trajtenberg proposes heavy cuts to defense budget, expected to draw strong objections from Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

    By Moti Bassok

    The defense budget is likely to be a major point of conflict amid the proposals to solve the country's social crises: The committee led by Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg reportedly believes that it needs to be heavily cut, a proposal expected to draw strong objections from Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

  72. This is really rich, our really "best" ally in the Middle East, the proxy we placed into power in Iraq tells us that Mr Assad really is battling aQ and radical Sunni extremists.

    That the battle seems to center in and around Hama, lends credence to the Prime Minister's perception.

    (Dp-news – NY Times)

    BAGHDAD — As leaders in the Arab world and other countries condemn President Bashar al-Assad’s regime crackdown on demonstrators in Syria, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq has struck a far friendlier tone, urging the protesters not to “sabotage” the state and hosting an official Syrian delegation.

    Mr. Maliki’s support for President al-Assad has illustrated how much Iraq’s position in the Middle East has shifted toward an axis led by Iran. And it has also aggravated the fault line between Iraq’s Shiite majority, whose leaders have accepted Mr. Assad’s account that Al-Qaeda is behind the uprising, and the Sunni minority, whose leaders have condemned the Syrian crackdown.

  73. We gotta get off of Imported Oil.

  74. .

    The Floods, and the Tsunami came After the economy tanked.

    Gee, Rufus I wasn't aware that the economy tanked on a particular date. What was that date?

    The tsunami came at the beginning of March.

    GDP was down in the 1st Qtr and then picked some in the 2nd.

    WTI futures were $85 in the middle of February and spiked up up to their high mark of around $112 around the beginning of May and have been dropping ever since. On 8/10/11 they were around $81 the same price they were at back in October of last year.

    Before any of these things happened, the parking lots at the Tunica Casinos were Jam-Packed. By the end of Feb they were half empty.

    Sat Aug 13, 01:26:00 PM EDT

    Rufus II said...
    And, they've remained that way to this day.

    Hell things should be booming at the Tunica Casino today based on the drop in oil prices.


  75. .

    I was serious about the date the economy tanked Ruf.

    Unless I know what date you are actually talking about we are just talking around each other.

    The reasons I listed were those that took place in the first six month of the year. The residual ones I didn't mention (continued weak housing, high unemployment, consumer demand down but offset by an increased personal savings rate, more and more people running out of long-term unemployment benefits, etc.) contributed to a bubble-like upward trend that had to come to an end at some point.

    Just as earning projections had to be reigned in eventually when productivity increases are built to a large extent on cost cutting and layoffs.


  76. If you're going to argue with a post you should at least read the post you're arguing against, Q.

    I stated above, and many other times, here, that the parking lots were full in the middle of Feb. That gasoline (which is based off the Brent Price, which is $108.01, today, not WTI, which is nothing but a landlocked puddle of oil in ?Cushing Oklahoma) crossed the $3.25/gal barrier, and by the 1st of March the parking lots were half-empty.

    BTW, the National price of gasoline, according to AAA gas prices, was $3.65, today - still much higher than the price that trigggered the slowdown.

  77. .

    One of the numerous anonymi points out the need for infrastructure but Rufus pooh pooh's the idea. We don't need no stinking infrastructure. "Hell, it don't take me any more time to hop in my pickup and shoot down to the Memphis "In and Out" for a six pack of Bud than it ever did."

    As Rufus says, "We need loan guarantees for 3,000 cellulosic ethanol plants. The roads are fine."

    Ruf accused me of cherry picking, something he could never be accused of doing, when I posted the first article I cam to on google after searching under "poor infrastructure in the US. It just happened to be one by the Americican Society of Civil Engineers. So to try to reach Ruf's level of objectivity, I'll post this one. It was listed right underneath the Civil Engineers study.

    Infrastucture Deficit in the US


  78. .

    As I said before Ruf. When you are only looking for one thing, that is all you are going to see.

    There are just too many negatives in the ecomony here and abroad right now, many of which have been here since 2007 and have not departed, that are dragging us down. To blame it all solely on the price of oil, in my opinion, is simplistic.


  79. .

    I applaud your suggestion about building ethanol plants. I believe it is a good one. On the other hand I don't see it as either a short or medium term fix for either jobs or the energy problem.

    We will slowly, gradually confront our energy problems in the same way we confront everything else. The only way there will be a massive undertaking like you propose is if there is a crisis that is upon us and can't be avoided.

    In the mean time, while there will be slow progress on all the various types of alternative energy sources, you will not see a new ethanol plant in every county.

    It won't happen because of all the issues I've mentioned before (political resistance, ideological resistance, environmental resistance, NIMBY, etc.)

    That's not to say certain locales won't do it.

    You say there is political resistance. I hadn't planned on asking about 'the plan' for a full year but since we are on the subject. What are the local pols position on one there in your county?


  80. .

    So we have a recession that will become a depression...and it won't end.

    It won't matter what culture you have....9 billion people can't survive in a post-oil world, never mind prosper.

    It's over.

    Good lord, and I thought I was negative.

    It's out of character for me to try to be positive but damn Doc you gotta lighten up.


  81. .

    The World is in Financial disarray. Half of the World's Economists thinks it is the end of the
    way things were. The other half say "No" this is only a minor fluctuation. I see no discussion, no thoughts or ideas from you people.

    What, this is not enough challenge ?

    Ok I give up. Is this a Newt Rockne pep talk, a motivational exercise, or merely a drive by critique.

    Don't see much else there.


  82. .

    I like some of the ideas one of our numerous anonymi has posted at

    Sat Aug 13, 01:38:00 PM EDT

    The only thing I would point out is that the personal savings rate while only moving up in fits and starts over the past couple years now seem to be moving up again. It's been over 5% for the past couple months.

    Good for the citizens doing the saving, but one has to think it's not doing much to help the economy at the moment.


  83. .

    Between him and Obama, I'm sad to say, but I'll have to vote for the O'Man.

    If it came to that, you wouldn't be the only one.

    Someone commented here today that it would likely be close race in 2012. I tend to agree. Obama's poll numbers suck when it comes to the economy but his overall approval is still in the 47-50% range.

    No on in the GOP is near that right now, but when one of them becomes the candidate, I would imagine his/her number will jump up into the 40-45% range regardless. However, in order to beat Obama they are going to have to be able to present a convinving plan for the economy.

    I haven't heard one yet and I suspect most Americans aren't going to be satisfied with the typical sound bites and carping.


  84. .

    From Deuces stream on how to create jobs

    John Berlau

    Repeal portions of last year's Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which has created hundreds of pending rules causing uncertainty and a halt in hiring for everyone from banks and credit unions to retailers and manufacturers that extend credit or hedge financial risks with derivatives..."

    Dodd-Frank was written to try to address some of the issues that got us into the economic mess we are in today.

    But what John is saying is that companies are not hiring because of regulatory uncertainty.

    That regulatory uncertainty is currently the result of cutbacks in those agencies that write the rules that would apply for Dodd-Frank.

    So John's solution is if the rules are taking too long to write simply drop the new regulations.

    Circular logic but an equisitely simple solution.

    Sounds like something Mr. Cantor would have thought of.


  85. .

    Historian David Starkey sparked outrage last night by claiming that Enoch Powell’s ‘rivers of blood’ speech had been right and blaming ‘black culture’ for the riots.
    He said white youths had adopted a black culture which promoted the violence and looting.


    That's right. We call them WINOs, white in name only.

    Too funny.

    I've been exposed to this new black culture up close and personal recently. Admittedly, it was a brief and cursory view so I probably shouldn't jump to conclusions. And I admit I missed the whole prevalent 'Jamaican patois' thing. However, to me it seemed to consist of you go out with a bunch of your buds, drink Buds until you puke, then start handing out Glasgow Kisses for no apparant reason. Great fun on a Saturday night.


  86. That's right. We call them WINOs, white in name only.

    I like 'wigger'

    Wio says I'm a WINO (Woman In Name Only)