Post Author: Virginia Hoge
My response to the article: Practical Steps for Darfur, by Nicholas Kristof
Asking the U.S. to invade Darfur is sanctioning warfare as an effective solution.
Haven't we witnessed the results of this "solution" enough with the Iraq war? Can anyone call this "practical"?
But ok, why not? Lets imagine using Military invasions as solutions to problems - but OUR problems - the ones in our own country for a change.
Lets invade the White House to stop the Bush administration from depleting our treasury and killing our soldiers in the unending Iraq war. Bush and his cabinet could be detained on Guantanamo. This would be of incalculable benefit to our country, good idea!
Lets invade the offices of the National Rifle Association, whose persistent and well-funded advocacy for gun owners guarantees the prevalence of handguns on our city's streets and in America's houses. Imagine how we could reduce the death toll for teenagers with gun control being enforced by the Military Good idea!
Lets invade the offices of California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who is currently balancing his State's budget by cutting 4.8 billion dollars from public education, while at the same time building more and more prisons. This would end the financial stripping of California's schools and be a huge benefit to millions of children, good idea!
Lets invade the offices of the corporate-controlled, right-wing media who spread lies, half-truths and racism across our nation on a daily basis. Imagine, we could actually get the truth in our news, good idea!
I am starting to see the value of military invasion in solving our nations problems, now we just have to convince Congress.
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Obama's announcement that he wouldn't meet with members of Hamas strikes me as very bad policy. But it also strikes me as a very good opportunity to link to Daniel Levy's recent TAP article counseling the next president on his Middle East strategy. Some[...]
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On the April 10 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, author and columnist Mark Steyn said of Michelle Obama: "[T]his is Kim Jong-Il dressed up with a bit of Oprah Winfrey dressing." Steyn also called Obama "a conventional university socialist." During the segment, host Glenn Beck said of Obama, "Her language is riddled with socialism," and said of the Obamas, "[T]here's a socialist agenda there for America." Beck and Steyn made the comments while discussing remarks Obama has made,[...]
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The Great Merit Debate: OK, OK?mea culpa re the ambiguity of ?merit.? I?m not trying to be elusive. I?m just trying to find words that work for lots of different readers from different walks of like.
Let me be, I hope, totally clear: for Brad, Alan, and any other economist, merit=marginal product. Thus, principle one is very simply arguing that while a central tenet of economics is that your income is equal to the marginal value you add to the economy, reality is otherwise. Your bargaining power?your ability to claim more than your marginal product or get stuck with less?is an ever-increasing determinant of economic outcomes.
The litany of ?I see this here and there in today?s economy? in the earlier post responding to Alan was supposed to provide a bunch of examples, ones I don?t think Alan has addressed, but let me be more precise and try to draw Brad deeper into this too.
Over the 1990s business cycle, 1989-2000, the real wages of low-wage workers (I?ll use the 20th percentile) grew 12%, or 1% per year. In the 2000s cycle, 2000-07, they grew 1% in total. It took one year in the 1990s cycle for low-wage workers to earn what they did over the full 2000s cycle!
Something was obviously very different for these workers in the 2000s, and I don?t believe it was their marginal product or skills. In fact, the 1990s gains occurred exclusively in the latter 1990s and early 2000s, when full employment labor markets were boosting the bargaining power of even the least skilled workers (the 1996 minimum wage increase helped too). In the 2000s cycle, labor markets never tightened back up much, and those whose ability to bargain depends less on the tautness of the job market?those at the highest reaches of the income scale?claimed most of the growth for themselves.
Tax Incentives: Alan very usefully adds some empirical meat to the argument about tax incentives, suggesting that an increase in top marginal income tax rates as Clinton and Obama are suggesting (allowing the top rate to reset from 35% to 39.6%) could ?lower taxable income by 3 to 4 percent.?
That is not a trivial effect, but I?d like to push Alan to take it further. Whose income are we talking about? Not everyone?s, right? And what might be the impact on jobs and incomes of most workers? And what factors offset this effect in the Clinton years, when taxable income and gov?t revenues went up even as marginal rates were raised at the top?
Also, through what mechanism does this occur? IE, I note you?re citing ?taxable? income changes. Does that mean income doesn?t change as much (e.g., we?re not talking labor supply effects), but the part of income that gets taxed does change? If so, that suggests more shifting of income between categories than the incentive effects I?m talking and arguing about: labor supply and investment.
Finally, I need to look more closely at the Gruber-Saez paper, but Jason Furman tells me that the paper is about optimal tax rates and it argues the tax code should be much more progressive than it is today, which seems like a conspicuous omission from your post, wherein you seem to be advocating a less progressive code.
Well, BushCo. and his little helpers will never change. As you know, Bush is trying to make an agreement with the Maliki government to keep our troops and the Black Water’s of Paul Bremerland active in Iraq after the 2002 UN resolution ends in December. Separation of Powers and all that good jazz means [...]
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I actually have no idea if this is normal and appropriate or not.
The latest Gallup poll finds that President Bush’s approval rating has fallen to 28 percent — “a record low” for his administration. Bush’s approval is “lower than that of any president since World War II, with the exceptions of Jimmy Carter (who had a low point of 28% in 1979), and Richard Nixon and Harry Truman, who suffered ratings in the low- to mid-20% range in the last years of their administrations.”
About why Bush’s ratings are so low, Gallup’s Frank Newport notes, “It doesn?t take a genius of public opinion research to isolate some likely causes. Americans are deeply depressed about the economy, gas prices are at a record high, [and] there is a war still underway that a majority of Americans call a mistake.”
If the American Family Association had their way, I suspect they would require a Bible in the glove box of every car and nonstop airing of The 700 Club in all hotels. Yes, the loons that boycotted Ford for being gay friendly have now decided to tackle the scourge of hotel porn. The AFA wants Marriott International to stop offering adult content movies to their guests and they are seeking a meeting with company officials to make their case (and view a few examples).
Several conservative groups, including the American Family Association, are asking Marriott International Inc. to stop giving hotel guests the option of ordering pay-per-view movies with strong sexual content.
AFA, based in Tupelo, said 47 “pro-family leaders” have signed a letter asking chain’s chief executive, J.W. Marriott Jr., for a meeting to discuss their concerns.
Marriott was told that stopping “porn movies” would be in keeping with the corporation’s position of “promoting the well-being of children and families,” AFA said in a news release.
AFA announced last month that it was ending a two-year boycott of Ford Motor Co., saying the company had met most of its demands, which included ending donations to groups that support same-sex marriage.
Ford said in a statement that its principles haven’t changed, but that it has reduced overall advertising and charitable spending in recent years because of losses in North America. Ford lost $2.7 billion in 2007.
Among those participating in the letter to Marriott, according to AFA, are James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of High Impact Leadership Council; and Robert Peters, president of Morality in Media.
Now I’m no religious expert but isn’t it the individual’s responsibility to resist temptation? Since these movies aren’t mandatory and they can only be viewed if one elects to see them and agrees to pay the fee, I’m at a loss to understand how this impacts the well-being of families? If daddy or mommy have a predisposition to watch porn or to engage in adulterous affairs, I doubt they need to run to a hotel to achieve either. Further, there’s no reason to believe that the effort to force Marriott to cease offering porn will strengthen or save a single marriage.
I’ve long argued that these religious fanatics are constantly looking for rules and regulations because they simply haven’t the will to resist their own wanton desires. Rather than look within for answers, they run around demanding the world erect barriers to save them from themselves…and that’s a tall order. Truth be told, the newspapers are filled with examples of the lengths to which people will go to fulfill their misguided motivations.
It will take a lot more than a Bible in every Ford, a ban on hotel porn, or a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex unions to save the institution of marriage. Last time I checked, divorce rates have been increasing for years. Pardon my snark, but those numbers primarily reflect the failure of holier than thou hetero marriages. Homos have long been on the outside looking in…and from my perspective…the grass isn’t all that green on the other side of the fence.
As usual, stories of this nature always seem to inspire my sarcastic side. With that in mind, I’ve created a new top ten list. The following are the top ten reasons hotel chains must not stop offering movies with adult content to their guests.
How would we ever catch governors in the act of destroying their political careers?
The innuendo behind “Feel the Hyatt touch” would be totally inappropriate.
Sexual intrigue sells…Watergate scandals are so passť.
It could potentially encourage a closeted minister to arrange clandestine hotel meetings with a male prostitute.
Corporate America couldn’t afford to hire traveling salesman if the perks were suddenly eliminated.
Motel Six would have to change its slogan to, “You must leave the light on”.
Hotel chains can’t afford to alter all of their door hangers to include wholesome explanations like “Do Not Disturb - Prayer In Progress”.
What would evangelical adulterers use to ready themselves for their extra-marital trysts?
It could spell the end to that popular Las Vegas ad campaign…the one that states, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.
It’s better than allowing polygamous religious lunatics to build marriage beds in their temples.
Editor's note: This is the second of a six-part series by Paul Lukasiak on what polling reveals about how Americans will vote in the coming election. Part I gave an overview explaining that "Not just sexism but also racism were major factors in how the[...]
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