Showing posts tagged economics

have you seen this?




haleighshine submitted:


Yeah, I’m surprised it took this long for the right-wing to come up with a counter-protest. There’s really no good way to counter the movement without coming off as a privileged ass, if there is I haven’t heard it. It is a simple fact that there are people out there who are out of work through no fault of their own, down on their luck and impoverished due to the unsustainable system we have.

It’s cute that they’re like “Oh well we’re doing fine, maybe you should work harder” but the reality is for every lucky content jerkass there are 10 more adults who’ve been shoved out of the middle-class and 20 students crippled by debt. In general I don’t give much credence to the 53% counter-protesters. It’s pretty much impossible to rally people around “Things aren’t that bad!” when they are objectively bad by pretty much any metric.


Yeah, I’ve seen people with the “53%” anti-protest have signs that say, “I work three jobs to pay my mortgage and it’s because I work hard.”

Uh. Okay. Working three jobs isn’t exactly a dream life, is it? It’s also not what the OWS people want. It’s great that you work three jobs but some of us can’t even get work for ONE. It’s not an entitled, unrealistic demand to want jobs for the unemployed, especially when the unemployment rate is as high as it is.

You shouldn’t have to work three jobs to pay for your mortgage after your house has depreciated by 60% in value. You shouldn’t have to work three jobs so you can pay your bills and put food on the table for your kids. You shouldn’t have to work three jobs or drive 90 minutes to and from work each way. The 53% ARE part of the 99% and they shouldn’t have to work three jobs so some CEO who helped crash the economy can get a 41 million dollar bonus this year.

I guarantee that CEO isn’t going to give a FUCK about your three jobs or your depreciated house that you can’t sell when they are relaxing on their yacht in St. Barts.

Yeah, these people are still the 99%. They can call themselves whatever they want but they are still among the people getting fucked over by the 1%. They are just complacent enough in their fucking over position that they are lashing out at those that are messing with what they perceive as a good thing.

It’s great that you’re busting your ass into oblivion to make rent but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way. That’s not a life to aspire to, that’s not an America to be proud of.


(Reblogged from stfuconservatives)
I almost want to post this again because this is a problem that really needs to be addressed.

I almost want to post this again because this is a problem that really needs to be addressed.

(Reblogged from whipporwill-deactivated20111220)
(Reblogged from letterstomycountry)


AMAZING map of the day. Track nearly every conceivable large cargo ship in the world. Just look at those sweet sweet oil tankers. Everything you need to know is right there: location, names of the ships, last port calls, length, itineraries, past tracks, speed. Oh man, I’m totally nerding out for the next hour! Peace out.

UPDATE: So sorry guys, I don’t know why these are distorted when you click them. If you know how to fix them, please let me know. Until then go to the map directly.

UPDATE II: Why this matters:

  • Imagine you ordered a book from, and it’s been two weeks. You’re like, yo, Amazon, where’s my book? And they track it for you. Now imagine you are the United States of America and you just bought $100 million in oil from Russia. You better believe that tanker is tracked!
  • Keeps tracks of delays. Every day lost can cost tens of thousands of dollars per ship.
  • Reroute ships around hurricanes, leaks, spills, migrating turtles, birds, hazards. 
  • Refuel points.
  • Universities use this to calculate how much carbon and pollution is dumped into the environment. Ships don’t have mufflers on their exhausts like cars do, they’re very dirty.
  • 15 (yes, fifteen) of the world’s largest ships pollute the equivalent of 760 MILLION cars (source). And there are over 90,000 ocean cargo ships.
(Reblogged from climateadaptation)
Here’s a question I haven’t seen asked: If fear of future regulations and taxes is holding business back, as everyone on the right asserts, why didn’t the Republican victory in the midterms set off a surge in employment?

After all, if you really believed that fears of Obamanite socialism were the key factor depressing employment, the GOP victory — with the clear possibility that the party will take the Senate and maybe the White House next year — should greatly reduce those fears. So, where’s the hiring surge?
(Reblogged from diadoumenos)
(Reblogged from letterstomycountry)
Oddly, one never hears Republicans praise those countries where people are lucky duckies — those where taxation is a small fraction of what it is here.

I’d Rather Be an Unlucky Ducky
Bruce Bartlett 

Equatorial Guinea: According to the Republican-leaning Heritage Foundation, those who live in this small country in sub-Saharan Africa are lucky duckies indeed. Because of recently discovered oil deposits, the citizens of Equatorial Guinea pay less than 1 percent of the gross domestic product in taxes. The comparable figure for the United States is 26.9 percent of G.D.P., according to Heritage.

However, Equatorial Guinea doesn’t seem to be a very pleasant place to live. The people are poor and have little freedom. Heritage says that “persistent institutional weaknesses impede creation of a more vibrant private sector” and “the rule of law is weak.” This sounds suspiciously as if government is too small to do its job properly. But I’m sure that the citizens of Equatorial Guinea don’t mind having a dysfunctional government; after all, they’re lucky duckies.

Myanmar: The people who live in this small country in Southeast Asia are also lucky duckies, if not quite as lucky as those in Equatorial Guinea. According to Heritage, taxes in Myanmar are 3 percent of G.D.P.

Oddly, this also doesn’t sound like someplace one would want to live. Heritage says “longstanding structural problems include poor public finance management and undeveloped legal and regulatory frameworks.” Apparently, the government doesn’t protect property rights very well, the infrastructure is poor, and there is a lot of corruption. But at least the people get to keep almost all their earnings.

Libya: Why the people revolted in this North African fiscal paradise is a mystery. According to Heritage, government revenues are just 3.4 percent of G.D.P.

ChadHeritage says the people of this African nation pay just 5.3 percent of G.D.P. in taxes. But for some reason, the nation is mired in poverty. Perhaps because, as Heritage says, “the efficiency and quality of government remain poor.” I wonder why.

Republic of Congo: The people of this country in Africa also pay 5.3 percent of G.D.P. to the government. But it is also very poor. Heritage says a key reason is “the government has failed to provide basic public goods and infrastructure.” This doesn’t really make much sense by the logic of Republican candidates, who seem to agree that all government spending is bad unless it goes to the Defense Department and that public works are nothing but worthless pork.

Read More

(via manicchill)

This, to me, is pretty much a direct refutation of the Anarcho-Capitalist school of Libertarianism.  According to the popular wisdom of that school, minimal regulation and taxation should be causing these countries to thrive.  And yet their standard of living compared to 1st-world countries with strong central governments is abysmal.

With that being said: you could very reasonably make the argument that the minimal governments of these countries are nonetheless oppressive and larcenous, so what little wealth is accumulated in the market tends to be appropriated by the elites.  But the question then becomes *how* that wealth is being appropriated; is it through official channels?  Then it would show up as taxation.  Is it through thuggery?  Then how could the problem be solved without reverting to Somalia-style balkanization (which is better only when compared to the more awful government preceding it)?  

The question, then, is one of form: without a strong Constitution to limit government power, and an intellectually vibrant, Independent Judiciary to keep government in check, there is no way for the rights of citizens to be guaranteed as against their unscrupulous peers, and as against the government itself.  

Yet courts in of themselves are Government.  All of these mechanisms cost money.  A minimalist State can be just as dangerous to Liberty and freedom as an oppressive one.  Norway, whose government accounts for 40% of its GDP, nonetheless has a very libertine criminal justice system.  There can be no question that people in Norway are more free than even people in the U.S. (who live under the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, and the Military Commissions Act).  Yet the U.S. government accounts for closer to 20% of GDP.

Does that mean government spending as a % of GDP is dispositive with respect to freedom?  Of course not.  Form matters.  But if you aren’t bringing in enough tax revenue to support the “right” form, then Bartlett’s observation is right: you end up with a government too weak to provide a mechanism for enforcing the rights of its own citizens (i.e. an independent and well-funded judiciary paired with an enumerated Constitution).

(via letterstomycountry)

(Source: manicchill)

(Reblogged from letterstomycountry)

Paul Krugman, “The Death of the Confidence Fairy.” Shorter Krugman: Austerity measures make the economic situation worse, not better.


Paul Krugman, “The Death of the Confidence Fairy.” Shorter Krugman: Austerity measures make the economic situation worse, not better.

(Reblogged from diadoumenos)

Welcome to Tent City: The community where every person has lost their job and home because of the U.S. financial crisis.

In scenes reminiscent of the Great Depression these are the ramshackle homes of the desperate and destitute U.S. families who have set up their own ‘Tent City’ only an hour from Manhattan.

More than 50 homeless people have joined the community within New Jersey’s forests as the economic crisis has wrecked their American dream.

These people have been reduced to living on handouts from the local church and friendly restaurants and the community is a sad look at troubles caused as the world’s most powerful country struggles with its finances.

Read more here. 

(Source: bankerpigs)

(Reblogged from sarahlee310)
Despite a widespread belief that contracting out services to the private sector saves the federal government money, a new study suggests just the opposite — that the government actually pays more when it farms out work. The study found that in 33 of 35 occupations, the government actually paid billions of dollars more to hire contractors than it would have cost government employees to perform comparable services. On average, the study found that contractors charged the federal government more than twice the amount it pays federal workers.

From a news story by Ron Nixon in The New York Times: Use of Private Contractors Doesn’t Save Government Money, Study Finds -

Another Republican idea proves to be much less than promised.

(via tartantambourine)

(Reblogged from pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti)
(Reblogged from pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti)


Robert Reich Debunks 6 Big GOP Lies About The Economy


I am feeling rather down in the dumps and defeated and this was a bit like a kick in the butt.

(Reblogged from pieceinthepuzzlehumanity-deacti)