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Does Smaller Government Create More Jobs?

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This Real News Network interview with economist Bob Pollin of the Political Economy Research Institute in Amherst, Massachusetts focuses on the deficit cutting impasse in Washington and what measures could create more jobs.


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112 comments

  1. Middle Seaman

    Nothing heard is new and nothing of what was recommended will be done in the foreseeable future. Our only hope is OWS or a similar massive popular movement that will shake the current status badly. The oligarchy, however, is aware of the danger and already sent the goons out to break heads.

    1. Sock Puppet

      OWS is missing the chance to become that mass movement. Firstly they are legitimizing the 1% by making demands of them (get money out of politics etc.) Secondly they losing the war for the hearts and minds of middle america by interfering with their shopping.

      A pity.

      1. fiscalliberal

        OWS seems to have smart organizers. I wonder if they will formulate message and concensus until just before the Presidential State of the Union speech which sets the framing of the election. It would be my guess that they are collecting e-mail addreses to be used for messaging and fund raising at that time.

        1. lambert strether

          So far, Occupations have been city by city. “they are collecting e-mail addreses [sic]” implies a degree of verticality that does not exist. The Occupations, thank The God(ess)(e)(s) Of Your Choice, If Any, is not MoveOn, which seems to be your model here.

        1. Sock Puppet

          The Naomi Wolf piece in the Guardian, reported over in the links post. So it is being portrayed at least.

          1. CMike

            No, don’t get up. Sit. I’ll get it. Says Naomi Wolf:

            >>>>>…The mainstream media was declaring continually “OWS has no message”. Frustrated, I simply asked them. I began soliciting online “What is it you want?” answers from Occupy. In the first 15 minutes, I received 100 answers. These were truly eye-opening.

            The No 1 agenda item: get the money out of politics. Most often cited was legislation to blunt the effect of the Citizens United ruling, which lets boundless sums enter the campaign process.

            No 2: reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act – the Depression-era law, done away with by President Clinton, that separates investment banks from commercial banks. This law would correct the conditions for the recent crisis, as investment banks could not take risks for profit that create kale derivatives out of thin air, and wipe out the commercial and savings banks.

            No 3 was the most clarifying: draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

            When I saw this list – and especially the last agenda item – the scales fell from my eyes. Of course, these unarmed people would be having the shit kicked out of them…. <<<<<

          2. Lambert Strether

            “… it is being portrayed at least.” Well, the agent of the portrayal here is Naomi Wolf, who is in the portrayal business, and not the occupation business. What Naomi Wolf says, and a nickel, will buy you a nickel cup of coffee. Or would, if this were the 30s. Oh, wait…

        2. CMike

          For the record:

          >>>>>#OCCUPYWALLSTREET

          A shift in revolutionary tactics.

          ADBUSTERS, 13 Jul 2011:

          …Tahrir succeeded in large part because the people of Egypt made a straightforward ultimatum – that Mubarak must go – over and over again until they won. Following this model, what is our equally uncomplicated demand?

          The most exciting candidate that we’ve heard so far is one that gets at the core of why the American political establishment is currently unworthy of being called a democracy: we demand that Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence money has over our representatives in Washington. It’s time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY, we’re doomed without it.

          …This could be the beginning of a whole new social dynamic in America, a step beyond the Tea Party movement, where, instead of being caught helpless by the current power structure, we the people start getting what we want whether it be the dismantling of half the 1,000 military bases America has around the world to the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act or a three strikes and you’re out law for corporate criminals.

          Beginning from one simple demand – a presidential commission to separate money from politics – we start setting the agenda for a new America.

          Post a comment and help each other zero in on what our one demand will be. And then let’s screw up our courage, pack our tents and head to Wall Street with a vengeance September 17.<<<<<

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Adbusters in not in charge of OWS. The relationship is more complicated, and my impression is that they have upon occasion done messaging when it has not been authorized by a GA or the non-leader leadership structure.

          2. citizendave

            Metaphor. Western US this year, hot and dry, water table falling, lakes and rivers at record lows, dust storms in Phoenix. Big fire near Austin. Vegetation turns from green to brown. Somebody strikes a match. Nothing happens. Lightning strikes. Nothing happens. Somebody else strikes a match, and suddenly, conflagration. To say that Ad Busters controls OWS, or anybody controls the Occupy Movement, is like saying the match that started the fire is still controlling the ensuing conflagration.

          3. CMike

            The Adbuster material copied and pasted above is from a post that appeared before there was a GA. YMMV but I think it is of historical significance.

          4. CMike

            The assumption here is that Tahrir Square I tactics did anything besides provide certain factions of the Egyptian elite some leverage in hastening the ousting the incumbent faction of the elite. I don’t see any warrant for that assumption yet. Tahrir Square II is taking on a different character.

      2. rotter

        The Occupy Movement hs been exactly the kind of spontaneous uprising that occurs because of social pressure. People are being squeezed so they will react. As lond as the pressure is there this kind of thing will continue, and become more sever as the pressure increases. “The 1%” of every culture, in every generation must sign a contract at some point, which requires them to have some brain mass removed through a nostril or something, because they never really seem to account for that predictable phenomenon. They always think they can control it.The American Oligarchs wont be able to prevent their own downfall any more than any oligarchy in history has been able to, because thier very existence is a symptom of a deeply rotten economic and political culture, which would require them to reverse themselves in order to survive.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          Right, rotter. Once again, it’s:

          “We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take this any more.”

          It can turn very ugly. Simon Schama: “CITIZENS.”

      3. Christophe

        OWS is not missing but struggling with the chance to become the “massive popular movement that will shake the current status.” As the state makes its move by breaking apart the physical encampments in many cities, Occupiers have the opportunity/dilemma of redefining the movement in a way that wins the “hearts and minds of middle America.”

        That may be too much of a challenge at present since Occupiers first need to figure out how to build consensus within the movement without relying on physical proximity to act as a binder. Matt Stoller pointed out that the Occupy movement was acting as a church of dissent. Using the rituals of mass chanted repetition and communal living to ensure synchronizing, blending, and attuning of participants may prove to be impossible without a public gathering place. The power struggles and turf wars that have sprung up at many of the OWS general assembly, working group, and spokes council meetings since the police raid suggest what a difficult hurdle establishing “virtual” harmony may turn out to be.

        Fortunately, the need for OWS to turn its focus inward while redefining itself could not fall at a better time of year. Winter causes us all to introspect. Advent’s waiting and expectation, Hanukkah’s resistance and liberation, the solstice’s fear and hope, and New years’ accounting and resolve can all serve as inspirations as OWS faces its current challenges. When the ice begins to melt and human endeavor starts to flow briskly again, we will all see how well OWS lived up to those challenges. Can it win the “hearts and minds of middle America?” Will it succeed in laying enough groundwork to set the stage for the explosive growth possible when the academic year comes to a close?

        As for alienating middle America by “interfering with their shopping,” I hope that you underestimate their ability to decide what is in their own best interest. It is always dangerous to threaten habits and positions that people have come to believe define who they are. The more we invest our egos in our ideologies the more we will attack anyone who makes us question those ideologies. Hopefully, the 99% meme has developed sufficient gravity to draw a majority of egos into its orbit and away from the consumer meme.

  2. Denis

    I was doing your survey, when all of the sudden, I got:

    Visitor Survey (continued)

    Error !

    UnicodeDecodeError: ‘ascii’ codec can’t decode byte 0xe2 in position 47: ordinal not in range(128)

    122
    123 % else:
    124 ${pipe_with(q['question'].preamble, namespace)}
    125
    127 ${q['order']}.
    128 % if is_display:
    129 ${q['question'].item.display_label} : ${q['question_text']}
    130 % else:
    memory:0x994242c, line 125:
    <p class="question" item="${q['item']}" name="${qname(q)}"
    /opt/local/lib/python2.5/site-packages/Mako-0.2.2-py2.5.egg/mako/runtime.py, line 368:
    callable_(context, *args, **kwargs)

    1. Jim3981

      Illegal labor is all part of the plan to slow consumption for everybody but the 1%, and soon the .01%.

      Welcome to the 21st century. Century of the coordinated western world austerity cram down.

      1. Cal

        Gee, you mean to say that you see hypocrisy in the
        following sign that was held aloft at OWS?

        “NO HUMAN BEING IS ILLEGAL!
        OPEN BORDERS NOW! LIVABLE
        WAGES FOR ALL AMERICANS!”

      2. Stephen Nightingale

        Jim3981:

        Au Contraire. Invite 100 million new immigrants over the next 25 years, and progressively reflate the money supply to accommodate the total reconfiguration of infrastructure needed to accommodate the changes that will be wrought.

    2. F. Beard

      Wrong!

      The banks screw up the economy and poor immigrants are to blame?!

      The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34

      It will take a Miracle to pull out this mess without a lot of unnecessary suffering. I strongly suggest we obey the One where Miracles come from, at least where mercy is required since we need it ourselves.

      1. Hal Roberts

        If the government did it’s Job a lot of legal Americans would still have their jobs.

        I think Moses lead the people out of Egypt so they could have their own sovereign nation.

        If you want to give something away make suer it’s yours to give in the first place, otherwise you are a thief stabbing your neighbor in the back. “ The victim has the right to fight back”

        1. F. Beard

          If the government did it’s Job a lot of legal Americans would still have their jobs. Hal Roberts

          What? Do you think a shortage of leaf-blowing jobs is the problem?

          Also, the problem is not necessarily a shortage of jobs but unjust income and wealth distribution. The US has a money system where the so-called “credit-worthy” are allowed to steal purchasing power from everyone else.

          If you want to give something away make suer it’s yours to give in the first place, otherwise you are a thief stabbing your neighbor in the back Hal Roberts

          As a US citizen, I am a co-owner of the non-private land in the US. I say quit fretting about poor immigrants and focus on the thieving money system.

          A poor man who oppresses the lowly Is like a driving rain which leaves no food. Proverbs 28:3

          For the sake of your own dignity, I suggest you refrain.

          1. Hal Roberts

            What do you think the effect of black market labor has on the legal Lowly laborer ? It robs him of his wages and jobs.

            Black market labor is alive and well in many manufacturing job in our Nation.

            “the problem is not necessarily a shortage of jobs but unjust income and wealth distribution. The US has a money system where the so-called “credit-worthy” are allowed to steal purchasing power from everyone else.”

            If you have a big fat portfolio you are most likely getting you share of that wealth distribution by way of Leverage. False Profit you are either ungrateful or suffer from a lack the knowledge about leverage.

            My Dignity stands solid in the truth. There are many facets to our problems this thread was on jobs.

          2. F. Beard

            What do you think the effect of black market labor has on the legal Lowly laborer ? It robs him of his wages and jobs. Hal Roberts

            That does not seem to be a problem during booms, does it? So why can’t we have steady economic growth? I haven’t got my McMansion yet nor have many others.

            If you have a big fat portfolio you are most likely getting you share of that wealth distribution by way of Leverage. False Profit you are either ungrateful or suffer from a lack the knowledge about leverage. Hal Roberts

            Leverage is essentially counterfeiting. It enables the banks, corporations, the rich and the “credit-worthy” to loot everyone else. It is also dangerous gambling that fuels unsustainable booms (Not that we can’t have steady prosperity but not with the current money system).

            There are many facets to our problems … Hal Robert

            Not really. Not according to Occam’s Razor. Instead there are just many symptoms or roots of evil from a single root – a fascist money system.

        2. K Ackermann

          Hal, I hope you take this to heart, because it should make you feel better…

          It’s not true that illegal aliens send all their money home. In fact, the bulk of their paycheck stays right here paying for food, shelter, transportation, and entertainment. They very much participlate in the economy.

          They quite typically work in the most menial occupations. If a citizen strives for a menial job, they will find one. The fact is… most citizens want something better. An unemployed EE does not want to pick berries, nor should she – it’s a waste of investment. She wants her job back.

          Far worse for the economy is buying goods from places like China, so I hope you don’t shop at Wallmart. Everytime a new job is created in China that displaces one in the USA, that is a paycheck that stays out of our economy, and adds one more to the roll here that we have to pay for.

      2. mansoor h. khan

        F. Beard,

        Very good F. Beard. This is the suggestion I have been waiting for from you. We can blog and educate (and we should do our part always) but if he does not want it. it won’t happen.

        Mansoor

      3. Tyler

        Yes, Padre, the banks screw up the economy AND the ‘immigrants’
        destroy the ability of working Americans to demand
        livable wages.
        i.e.
        “Why should we hire you, a skilled
        carpenter at $25 an hour when for that price I could hire
        3 Mexicans for an hour?…Even if they have to redo some work, it’ll still be far cheaper…”

        Extend this to plumbing, landscaping, painting, roofing, drywall, warehousing, fast food and all the other jobs that Americans used to do and you’ll have to realize, unless you are truly obtuse, maybe there’s a parable or proverb that explains that?—that illegals and mass legal immigration is helping to destroy the Middle Class.

        1. F. Beard

          If the banks (and the corporations that borrow from them) had not cheated most of US out of a lifetime of purchasing power then we would be content to work for $8/hr since we would have plenty of savings or investment income.

          IT ALL goes back to the thieving, government backed/enforced usury and counterfeiting cartel, our banking system.

          1. Tyler

            Glad we’re on the same page about stripping the ability of the Federal Reserve to destroy our savings and rob us,
            but if we were content to work for $8 an hour in a banker parasite free economy, the
            humanistic handwringers and vote trollers and union busters were still promote immigration of people who would be happy to work for $2 an hour.

            The race to the bottom in wages and quality of work that people put up with is all relative.

            Let me be the first to wish you Merry Christmas.

    3. Foppe

      Precisely. Get rid of their status as aliens — that is, give them citizenship — and make it harder for employers to extort them. That way it will be much less interesting for them to employ foreigners (even if foreigners will always be easier to abuse than locals).

      1. Hal Roberts

        Those oppressed foreigners you are talking about are getting welfare free medical. While a lot of unemployed citizens who own private property get the axe and lose their land for not being able to pay taxes or god forbid emergency health care cost.

        Your morale humanitarian stance is twisted and perverted at best.

          1. Sock Puppet

            Countries are a construct that allow the 1% to convince one country’s 99% that their problems are caused by some other country’s 99%.

      2. Badges

        Give them citizenship?

        That’s what they want! All the ‘Privileges’
        like EBT,
        aka food stamps,
        housing assistance,
        free medical for the parents–not just their U.S. born anchor babies,
        earned income tax refunds–if they actually work for a paycheck–once citizens they’ll get a few checks to get the larger tax refund plus keep working for cash,
        financial aid–already given to them as illegals in California thanks to the California Dream Act signed by
        our Hispanic vote trolling governor and of course, last but not least, the vote.

        With none of the ‘Responsibilities’,
        Learning and using English,
        teaching their children to value and respect American values such as privacy, the right to participate in civic institutions for the common good, abandoning their old
        culture and spending their money in our local economy instead of sending it home to the village.

        1. Foppe

          I’m sorry, but have you even talked to one of those illegals who you think to know so much about once?
          What has been happening for decades (Primarily in Cali’s central valley) is that those illegals are made to live and work in toxic environments, (since they can’t complain in any way about working conditions lest they be expelled), which they do because they desperately need the money, to the point that they get sick, at which point they generally go back home to either die (of poisoning), or to live out what remains of their life while disabled. Sound fun to you?
          Keeping them illegal is just another way to drive down labor costs (because they will come whatever the law says), and it is not to your advantage.

  3. tz

    If it takes 3 years to get the permits to build a factory and a year to construct it, you won’t get any new jobs out of that for 4 years, even though they will be productive jobs.

    You can impose regulations that force people to do nothing except fill in paperwork (think if we made the tax code 10x complex – Yves would have to hire so many more people). Or government can do something similar.

    This is a bit like Bastiat’s broken window fallacy – break windows, and the glaziers get lots of cash and have to hire and spend. So government can pass a law to smash windows. What it misses is that the people had money they would have spent on something ELSE that they now have to pay for a new window.

    The reason we are tight now is because in 2002-2007 everyone was spending over a year’s worth of production in those years due to cheap credit. It wasn’t earn, then buy based on earnings, it was based on minimum payment on credit cards. That produced false growth – what your income could produce, what your HELOC could add to your account, and what the credit card companies would give you. All that debt created the illusion of wealth, but the illusion created real jobs for a while. The government didn’t act to mitigate the boom and store a surplus (didn’t Keynes say to do this?), they also spent on the guns and butter and TSA porno scanners.

    Until we discharge all the debts – and I’m all for having a year where anyone can declare bankruptcy (and take the consequences, but discharge every last dime of every last debt – student loans, tax, credit cards, etc.). That would restart the economy by killing the zombies. And yes, the TBTF banks would fail and go into receivership.

    Every penny being used to service these ultimately unpayable debts is one that isn’t productive and won’t create jobs nor growth.

    (Note this is mainly an Austrian school view – I’m not sure why Keynesians want to keep people as debt slaves forever while goosing government spending).

    1. mansoor h. khan

      tz,

      Bastiat did not understand how the economy works. Keynes did:

      We need to come up with a very simple childlike explanation of Keynesian economics. Something like:

      step 1: Spending of currency generates demand (does not matter where the currency comes from, existing savings or currency printed by the government or currency printed by a bank).

      step 2: Entrepreneurs react to this demand signal in step 1 above and make stuff and provide services. Entrepreneurs (and workers) can and will work just to accumulate currency itself as savings (for future buying).

      Looked at this way the entire economy can be viewed as a giant converter/transformer of raw materials to finished goods and services with demand (as expressed by spending currency) as the driver.

      Mansoor H. Khan

      P.S. Keynes does not want us to be debt slaves but Banker’s do. Let’s have the government issue all new currency and dis-allow bankers from issuing new currency.

      1. ArmchairRevolutionary

        I personally think Keynes is nothing short of brilliant, but tz correctly points out one his failures. I believe the example that Keynes used was to show that by burying bottles containing currency (kind of like breaking windows) an economy could actually grow. This illustrates the key failure in Keynesian economics: that money does not equal value. Keynesians would seek to maximize growth in GDP measured in fiat currency when the effective result could be a lower value measured in real goods.

        1. F. Beard

          Some money growth is undoubtedly good. The question is how that shall be accomplished? Matthew 22:16-22 implies the solution – separate government (fiat) and private money supplies.

        2. mansoor h. khan

          ArmchairRevolutionary,

          Please focus on this explanation of the economy:

          “Looked at this way the entire economy can be viewed as a giant converter/transformer of raw materials to finished goods and services with demand (as expressed by spending currency) as the driver.”

          Note that value is expressed by spending curreny (money votes). Spenders vote for what is value by spending on what they want and entrepreneurs deliver.

          Mansoor H. Khan

        3. K Ackermann

          Keynes wasn’t advocating digging holes for value. He was saying that during bad economic times, it’s desirable to increase the velocity of money.

          We have automatic stabilizers, now. There is very little difference between digging holes, and drawing unemployment (other than backache)

      2. Badges

        Mister Khan,

        How does sending most of the cash you withdraw from the impoverished American economy home to Central America benefit the U.S.? How does living off second hand clothes
        and give away appliances benefit the U.S.?

        What does Keynes say to that?

        1. F. Beard

          What? You think cash has to be dug out of the ground at great expense? The more cash foreigners hoard then the more the US Government can create and spend without price inflation.

          1. Badges

            But what about the multiplier affect of money circulating locally?
            The American carpenter making $25 an hour is going to pay payroll, local, state and federal taxes and spend the money where he lives.

            The illegal’s going to buy cheap food and live off handouts with consumer items and send the majority home to C.A. Local companies like the money transfer outfits and the Buy Here Pay Here used car outfits might profit locally.

            Let’s not even mention the negative cost to local governments of special education and bilingual programs as well as hiring special librarians, translators and counselors in the schools.

          2. F. Beard

            The American carpenter making $25 an hour is going to pay payroll, local, state and federal taxes and spend the money where he lives. Badges

            As I said somewhere else, if the American population had not been cheated out of vast amounts of purchasing power by the filthy counterfeiting cartel, the banking system, then they would have savings and/or investment income such that they could work for $8/hr but be able to spend like they were earning $25/hr.

            It ALL goes back to our thieving money model.

            But even now things can be fixed. Just abolish the cartel and bailout every US citizen equally, including savers, till all debt to the banks is paid off. That could be done with (faster) or without (slower) price inflation risk.

          3. Stephen Nightingale

            F. Beard: “if the American population had not been cheated out of vast amounts of purchasing power by the filthy counterfeiting cartel”

            Meanwhile the Chinese and Japanese public has been cheated out of $2 trillion worth of their productivity in return for some unrepayable pieces of paper. That’s $2T of goods that the American public enjoyed on their backs. The only way it will ever be repaid is for China and Japan to take $2T of goods from the US economy, which will more than effectively rebuild same.

        2. K Ackermann

          Badges,

          How does sending most of the cash you withdraw from the impoverished American economy home to Central America benefit the U.S.?

          Let’s put things in perspective. Take your exact sentence and substitute China for Central America.

          Walmart sells stuff mostly from China. Walmart’s sales average $36 million every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If there are 12 million illegals, and each sends $3 bucks from their $7.00 per hour home (they don’t), they sure as hell ain’t working 24 hours a day.

          The most wildly pessimistic case has them sending off 1/3 of just what Walmart is sending off.

          Those new clothes you buy… I hope they say Made in America on them. Do you even check?

    2. CLARENCE SWINNEY

      TZ PART CORRECT
      Big=Fed cut 6.5% interest rate and increased
      money supply by twice as much as in prior ten years.
      Banks told to come get FREE money. Initiated Mortgage Scandal.

      Built homes too large too expensive for stagnated middle class incomes. No big deal. We stick bad in with good and sell world wide. 1000B of Consumer Debt did not create Great Recession.Real estate Mortgage big part not consumer spending.

      Casino Derivative Of America is now 231,000 Billion in 4 Big Banks.That is 231,000B in a Casino. Bet one on one.No economic value added. Only very rich can participate.
      World Rich Man Casino.

      Since 1980, we borrowed 14,000B in place of taxing Wealth as we did 1945 to 1980 and rich became ultra rich. That is why in 1980 We ranked in top 5 on Equality and now in bottom 5 of oecd nations.

      Why 10% own 70% of Net Wealth and 80% own 15%.
      Why 10% own 70% of Financial Wealth and 80% own 7%
      70/15 & 70/7 are third world ratios not a Democracy.
      Today, America is a Corporate Aristocracy.

      No Safty Nets and today it would be Burn Baby Burn in our big cities.
      comments/questions welcome cswinney2@triad.rr.com
      political historian lifeaholics of america
      author Lifeaholic-success by WORKING FOR A LIFE(FAMILY-HEALTH-WORK-FINANCE) NOT JUST FOR A lIVING ($$$$$$$$$$)

      1. CLARENCE SWINNEY

        HOUSING DISASTER BRIEFER—
        Plenty Free Money For Banks.
        Developers were encouraged by banks to build homes that cost $500,000 up. More profit. Sell in Securities. Rated Triple A. Basic Premise was HOUSING ALWAYS APPRECIATES IN VALUE.
        Prices zoom up by 70% in five years.Refinace $500,000 at $700,000. Get $200,00 cash(less big fees)This was major in California. On man had 70 selling refinancing. Made 5M per year.Agents made $20,000 per week.

        Fannie Mae was limited to $300,000 max loans. They lost market share. They got back in when Bush increased Max to $729,000. Why? Banks demand for mortgages was declining as buyers were alarmed by toxics in the securities.

        Banks then unloaded Triple A junk on Fannie Mae.

        Consequently, most of Fannie Mae problem was Bush increasing Max to help Big Banks. Blame Bush not Fannie
        who was suckered like many investors worldwide.

        Greek officials stated that the junk off Wall Street sucked billions out of their economy and helped create their problems.

        Then CRASH. Banks and Fannie Mae stuck with junk.
        Bankruptcies or Bailouts
        The CNBC docu HOUSE OF CARDS is excellent.It had those involved give the details on how they cheated.

        1. CLARENCE SWINNEY

          Banks pals used Sub-Prime to imply low inocme govt backed mortgages. NO. Sub-Prime=Unaffordable–

          The FHA and Hud Mortgages remained in urban areas with local banking not the BIg Banks.Their foreclosures remained in line with past history
          In 2010, there were more Foreclosure on homes mortgaged at 1 Million + than under 1M.

          A blatant attempt to divert attention from the true culprits. BIG BANKS.

  4. F. Beard

    Does Smaller Government Create More Jobs?

    That depends. A lot of government we don’t need but we do need government spending.

    Solution? Forget the lousy socialism and wasteful spending and just give the population money. Make mine direct deposit, please.

    Or we can allow genuine private money supplies so that government spending JUST TO PUT MONEY INTO THE ECONOMY is no longer needed.

    1. mansoor h. khan

      F. Beard,

      You are on the path but you need to take your ideas/thoughts further. Since we live longer and need more for our golden years we seek a “safe mutual” fund.

      The safest “mutual fund” is currency itself. If we implement your ideas (which is perfectly ok with me) we will have lots of private currencies (some issued by private banks, some issued by counties, some issued by states) and of course one issued by the federal government.

      Once the federal government sets up a government bank (and deposit insurance for private banks is revoked) which cannot lend money but only provide a safe storage of deposits and clear checks many, many, many people will see it as a “safe” mutual fund. This will drive demand for the new federal gov currency which means gov will be able to (and it should) spend / or give money away to citizens (i.e., Social credit).

      The fed currency will then become a equity share in the U.S. economy. The hard part will be for the gov then to balance supply and demand (based on the capacity of the economy and control inflation). Deflation is easy to control (spend money and/or give social credit to citizens). The reverse (inflation) is hard to control. Gov spending will have to be reduced and/or taxation increased.

      Mansoor H. Khan

      1. F. Beard

        The hard part will be for the gov then to balance supply and demand (based on the capacity of the economy and control inflation) mansoor h. khan

        True but with the allowance of private currencies that would only be a problem for the government and its payees and for those who had substantial savings in fiat. The government sector would thus have a strong incentive to police itself with respect to wasteful spending since if it did not then only it would suffer. The private sector would be unaffected, at least to the extent it used private currencies.

      2. F. Beard

        The fed currency will then become a equity share in the U.S. economy. mansoor h. khan

        Speaking of equity shares, common stock is an ideal private money form that requires no usury, no fractional reserves and no precious metals. it is also democratic – to the extent that one owns shares. But if the government enforced money monopoly is broken then it should be expected that shares would be widely owned.

        1. mansoor h. khan

          F. Beard ,

          I wholeheartedly agree with what you said in the above two comments. But It is my expectation based on what I see with how easily business knowledge can be learned and taken and how easily business advantages erode now compared to past that common stock will be a poor “holder” of value (and advantage).

          Which means that the knowledge which was taken (or stolen) by others will become more widely used in the larger economy which means that the safest common stock will become the new fed currency.

          Mansoor

          1. F. Beard

            …which means that the safest common stock will become the new fed currency. mansoor h. khan

            Paradoxically, it would be the allowance of genuine alternatives for private debts that would ensure that. I would have plenty of faith in fiat IF I knew it was ethically created.

      3. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Mansoor, in conjunction with your ideas since at least 2009, you will find elucidation in the video, “The Secret of Oz – Winner, Best Docu of 2010 v.1.09.11″ uploaded by bstill3 on Feb 2, 2011 on YouTube:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI — I think you will find this frame beneficial to your work, and you might get into dialogue with a new set of colleagues.

        You might create a colorful *game* to frame your project.
        Leonova

        1. mansoor h. khan

          LeonovaBalletRusse,

          You should know that I still have to work for a living (my wife kicks me out of bed every morning and says stop trying to solve world’s problems and go get some money for the family).

          But if someone wants to help me do that I will give them my time and knowledge.

          They can contact me via my google blogger profie.

          Mansoor H. Khan

      1. K Ackermann

        90%? You’re just parroting or manufacturing tripe. Can you salt away 90% of your paycheck?

        Imagine moving back with your parents and living rent-free. Can you salt away 90% of your paycheck?

        Think for yourself. Things are far less scary that way. Fear and hate are base emotions easy that are all too easy to tap in people who do not think things through.

    2. Cal

      How about taxing the churches for the benefit of local government?

      Where exactly in the Constitution does it say that local churches, temples, synagogues, etc are exempt from taxation?

      If if they are so, why should our police, fire
      departments and ambulances respond to their emergencies?

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Cal, this would be an excellent start toward eliminating *religious shills for the 1%* from the equation.

        Since We the People have been given, by the Constitution, freedom FROM religion, as well as freedom of religion, you could make the case that it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL for *religious* institutions/causes/representatives to be *tax exempt*.

  5. Philip Pilkington

    His interest scheme won’t work. It will just suck more money out of the economy in the form of interest income.

  6. JTFaraday

    I think when the Clown Party says “job creators” it is really code for “goosing my investment portfolio.” And let’s not kid ourselves, there is a market and an electoral constituency for that, which controls both political parties and which is not going to support any kind of Keynesian money infusion that doesn’t drop a chunk of change in its portfolio first.

    (Hence, the corporatist health care financing bill to which the Clown Party pretends to be opposed because it didn’t get to do the dirty deed itself).

    The “jobs” part of it is a nod in the direction of what we might call “legitimate business activity,” the residual effect of which *might* be some job creation.

    But even on their own terms, this is not particularly convincing right now given that legitimate business activity as a means of goosing one’s investment portfolio seems to have gone the way of the Dodo.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “job creators” is boilerplate propaganda by shills for the 1%, that should be clear by now.

  7. Diogenes

    Are you referring to Bob Pollin’s proposal for the Fed to stop paying 0.25% interest on the banks $1.6 trillion of cash? If so, I am pretty sure I agree with you.

  8. Paul Tioxon

    Bob Pollin picks up the business speak with the JOB CREATORS talking point. First you get the subliminal divine right direct from god bullshit by conflating business with THE CREATOR, this is CREATIONIST ECONOMICS. Used to be a time when you heard a simple yes boss, no boss. Now the boss has become a theocratic JOB CREATOR. In the beginning, there was darkness, then god created the market. He populated it with capital. But seeing that capital was lonely and needed a partner, he created labor from the profits of capital. After 7 days of super exploitation of labor by capital, god rested. And labor reproduced itself as to further drive down its cost in wages through competition. Capital went on to create all of the jobs that we have today.

    On a lighter note, Bruce Springsteen has announced his 2012 tour of America and Europe where he will be no longer touring as the boss. He is now the JOB CREATOR.

    1. citizendave

      Very good, Paul.

      I suppose the next time I get a job I should dutifully, worshipfully, thank the Creator for creating the job, and also for giving it to me. Used to be, a few years back, that we were helping each other, the Job Creator and I, in a mutually beneficial enterprise. But now the Creator can pick and choose from about five people to have that job, followed by being continually nervous about losing said job at the whim of the Creator because you know, if you don’t like any aspect of it, there is a long line of people waiting to take your place. Constant anxiety at work. Not a happy situation. Whenever I hear somebody say “once upon a time unions had a legitimate role” it makes me want to shout.

      I heard somebody say that if I try hard enough, I can find a job. That would have been sufficient instruction for my teenage self half a century ago, but they went on to elaborate a theory of job creation I found most fascinating. As far as I could begin to understand it, his theory amounted to “job creation ex nihilo” — that by my diligent and earnest seeking for a job, I could conjure a job out of thin air — similar to the way modern money is created. And further, that if all the millions of the workforce who are unemployed would try as hard as they can to find work, the jobs would be created for each one, as if by magic. I interpreted that theory to mean that our unemployment problem is the fault of the unemployed themselves, which is why we can worry about fiscal austerity and the budget deficit instead of unemployment. Once we unemployed millions of people spontaneously get over our lack of personal responsibility, and try really really hard to find work, the unemployment problem will be solved. So while we’re working on that, Congress can fight about whether to cut outrageously astronomical Defense spending, which does contribute to the budget deficit, or to cut Social Security, which does not contribute to the budget deficit. Evidently, the job creators are actually the unemployed themselves, so it’s up to them to solve their own problem.

      (Also, please note that the word “demand” never appears in the narrative frame of those who refer to business people as Job Creators.)

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      Prrecisely, Paul Tioxin, and this point was made back in the days of William Jennings Bryan when he made the Cross of Gold speech (before he was neutered by the goldbugging 1%; apparently he wanted to stay alive). Then, the agitprop said that “Gold” was from “God.” This is being claimed again today. For THEN, see:

      “The Secret of Oz – Winner, Best Docu of 2010 v.1.09.11″ -
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swkq2E8mswI — the reason I’m so excited by this video, is that it explains what we are going through today. It makes Frank Baum’s BOOK, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” highly relevant today.
      *Leonova On Point*

  9. don

    Pollin makes sense. The problem is getting from here to there. If one assumes we live in something like a corporate state, in which corporations (large) control the government, then what Pollin calls for is for a truly citizen’s government, one in which power of the State is in the hands of citizens, a true democracy. This furthermore implies great changes underway at the social and cultural level.

    We’re not there yet. So ideals of what the government should do are far from what the government can do, until, its a government owned and controlled by the people and not corp.

    So rather than all this talk of what the government should do, more attention needs to go to what it will take to make a government that governs best for the public. This amounts to generating a mass movement for radical social change; because nothing short of being radical will do.

    OWS represents this sort of discourse and action, about what the vision for a new society would look like, how we get there, and what stands in the way. Of course, we are far from doing so. But once the emphasis moves away from proposals of what the government should do and questions like what the central banks should do, to one, on a mass scale, of how to make radical social change, then you know we on our way. But we’re far from that.

        1. mansoor h. khan

          F. Beard,

          The hindu version says..go to the length and breadth of the universe and say not this to everything you find (neti, neti) and whatever is left is bhagwan (god).

          mansoor

  10. Ep3

    So the problem is circulation. Not enough money is moving around the economy to increase demand and increase employment. In fact, banks and corps. have increased accumulating reserves thus holding back growth. I would also say wealthy individuals are doing this as well. They are taking tax breaks and saving those.
    I found his comment interesting about how republicans think that govt does what I said above via taxation. Which entirely makes no sense since the govt has increased spending and is running large deficits, which it is unable to reduce these deficits because of a decrease in tax revenues.
    All of this brings me to the conclusion that all this bailout and tax cutting has been for the benefit of these entities so they are capable of weathering further crashes, while the rest of us suffer, due to the public attitude against bailouts of any kind. So in the next crash, bailouts can be avoided to make the nonexistent bailout-hating voter happy (actually there are many of these voters, most of them consist of wealthy persons that are just under that threshold of being a wealthy elite). As I believe u have said yves, the next crash will be far worse.

    1. K Ackermann

      There are strong indications the next crash is coming up soon, and I’m not mongering fear. I’m looking at the largest US bank now trading close to $5.00, none of the banks disclosing the CDS protection they’ve written for the EU, and the EU throwing off signs of a disorderly default.

      But then again, if there is a danger, you’d think the Fed might publically announce new stress tests for the banks ;-)

  11. rotter

    Can Someone Define what the ubiquitous phrase “smaller government” actually means? What would actually be “smaller” about “government” and if government is “smnaller” then shouldnt the private components of The State also be shrunken? ie. The Banking System/Wal St, Millitary and Intelligence contrators,etc.

    1. JTFaraday

      It means that, for example, teachers and social workers funded by state governments (and protected by socialist unions and socialist federal labor laws), don’t drop any spare change in the Clown constituency’s investment portfolio. This makes it Big Government, and a pure drain on the tax payer and the economy.

      For-profit education companies in “higher education,” OTOH, even when subsidized by Big Government (say, with student loans (see article below)), are nevertheless Small Government (I know it’s confusing, but hang on) because they shed the above named socialistic elements in order to drop more change in someone’s potfolio.

      The sound of change clattering in the piggy gives it enough capitalistic flavor to transform for-profit education into a Small Goverment job creator again.

      The goal is to transition as much of the free world as possible from Big Government to Small Government and Job Creation.

      http://www.economist.com/node/16643333

      “IT SEEMS too good to be true, at least for companies. Customers arrive at for-profit colleges by the million. With them comes billions of dollars of federal student grants and loans, to be poured into corporate coffers. Public subsidies may provide up to 90% of revenue; the government bears the risk of loan defaults. This business model has served firms rather well. Its effect on students and taxpayers is less clear. This summer, however, a brawl over for-profit colleges has exploded at last.

      On May 26th Steven Eisman, a big shorter, warned investors that for-profit colleges could echo subprime mortgages.”

      1. K Ackermann

        Hey, as long as it’s called capitalism, who cares what they do to us?

        We should all be anti-socialists. We can command it.

    2. LeonovaBalletRusse

      “smaller government” is CODE for privatization by the 1%. This proceeds apace via “The Shock Doctrine” on our soil. We’ve been doing this to others, now “it’s our turn in the barrell.”

  12. Nate

    Open and access-able government is more important to most people than what government really does. At the national interest and sovereign level most of the times government is highly secretive and people don’t care to know. US government provides jobs for its employees not necessarily create jobs for the public. Government can define what is a success for its citizens and what is level of contentment a family of citizens to achieve. And try to provide basic platform so each citizen has the opportunity to achieve the success and be content with life. Capitalism is when more money one can accumulate and more wasteful and materialistic one is, consider as successful and presume to be content in life. which is not true. Human has to meet the basic life driven wants/needs/desires to be successful. Having a family, dwelling, and certain amount of peer respect is really all people want, and this sounds very basic but it is hard to achieve in this day and age. To reiterate, the open and access-ability is important. Congress member should all be volunteers and not for paid salary position. To make government people friendly.

  13. Charles Yaker

    Yves I was getting ready to ask why you bother as most comments ignored the interview and had their own agenda but Philip Pilkington got around tothe interview and several people responded appropriately . So I’ll add to that discussion . The interviewees comments about public sector jobs was to the point as was a reduction of payroll taxes as long as Governement continues to fund Social Security which they can do however small businesses won’t borrow unless customers come to shop. Recovery starts with AGREGATE DEMAND not credit to business.

    1. JTFaraday

      Aggregate demand for what, though? I’m pretty sure Keynesianism isn’t going to work the same way in a post-industrial economy in need of systematic economic development and that the academic Keynesians haven’t thought about how it should work because they’ve been too busy counting the change left in their piggy banks by de-industrialization.

      Meanwhile, there’s only so much edjumacating (seems to be the new puritanism, same as the old puritanism) you can do before the new post-industrial human product falls off the end of the conveyor belt, all dressed up with no place to go.

      I’ll take “aggregate demand” generation more seriously when I see a Keynesian pundit actually do the work.

      Talk is cheap.

      1. mansoor h. khan

        JTFaraday,

        We can create aggregate demand by:

        1) massive infrastructure spending

        2) “basic” free healthcare for all

        3) $500 social credit per month for each every citizen

        Of course we will have to watch inflation (especially energy prices) and re-adjust the taxation and/or spending.

        mansoor h. khan

  14. abprosper

    Illegal immigration should be as close to zero as manageable.

    Legal Immigration should be tied to the rate of unemployment and wage spread with a few for marriage or exceptional skills reasons.

    This way wages can be pushed up and a big stress on the lower class (and middle to a degree c.f. H1B) reduced.

    Also don’t harp on unemployment so much if you want results.

    A person who is not a student or a part time by choice worker making say $8 an hour is not helping build a better society. Only good jobs count.

    In reality if you can’t afford a house, a car every 3-5 years, an annual vacation, decent living standard 10% savings and a college fund on one wage, which is roughly what people in the you are not middle class.

    And yes, people in the 50′s to 60′s often could do this.

    And before the usual suspects start on about more consumer toys or bigger houses or whatever, well yes. The national productivity is greater and the same share of the productivity should get more goods.

    what decline is simply workers shares of the economy and until those are brought up, the economy will shrink.

    Also to get results we need to inform Americans and get them to accept that they are no longer a Middle Class society.

    Middle class requires one income to buy the above goods. How many people do you know can do that?

    If you can do this with 2 of you working you may have middle class values but you are working class.

    If you’ll never be able to afford that like most Americans, you are poor.

    A last point, you cannot have a welfare/redistribution state and mass immigration.

    read why at the many links here

    http://volokh.com/2011/06/12/immigration-and-the-welfare-state/ and choose wisely

    1. abprosper

      I hate to reply to myself but I chose that link on purpose. Its a Libertarian Pro Immigration blog and thus is a lot less likely to be accused of being a racists or something.

      Still his links, Krugman and others such as Robert Putnam (Harvard guy author of Bowling Alone, quite liberal) are worth looking at

  15. SH

    I swear this was a whim, but having just spent time in Austin after a couple years and seeing a lot of small business in the area I searched

    “best places for small business 2011″

    and got this article.

    http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2011/07/01/The-10-Hottest-Spots-to-Start-a-Small-Business.aspx#page1

    Aside from the big kid focus on the strip mall shops, in my last visit I encountered the first frozen yogurt toppings bar for kids, the one that got me this time was a strip mall corner restaurant turned into a for pay swim lesson shop. This means they dug out the floor of the local pizza shop and put in a pool. It’s one step above doggie daycare to say the least.

    The next thing killing my anecdotal mind is the sudden spring up of massage envys and European Wax shops. I’ve seen much more of both in Austin, Denver, and ritzy Denver (Cherry Creek). These may be low level service to say the least (I’m still trying to figure out what European Wax does), but if Perry’s state can lead this charge, then I say let the small strip mall businesses go to town and find a way.

    1. JTFaraday

      Don’t forget the brow bars. Personally, I don’t think it’s that big a challenge to tweeze your eyebrows, but apparently someone does.

      The problem with the small local business as source of mass employment theory is that you still have the Walmart effect in such small businesses. Most of the people I know get their hair cut in chain salons these days. First there was Supercuts (cheap), more recently undercut by E-Clips (like $6.99 a pop).

      Meanwhile I recently saw an ad for a non-chain barbershop in this same market depicting no less than 5 strapping young lads, and I’m thinking “really? seriously? These guys are all going to eek out a living?”

  16. Hal Roberts

    Does Smaller government Create more Jobs ?

    Smaller government is less of a financial burden on it’s citizens so they keep more money to reinvest in the economy.

    What government does best is to protect its sovereign boarders from foreign invasion be it on the land in our markets or in the labor force. The people have given them the laws and the tools to do so.

    It’s unfortunate that our government has denied it’s obligation to the people it is payed to serve and protect in the name of their own profit. They have become a set of self serving Elitist out to get their profits back at all cost.

    May there be a group of 99 Virginians waiting on their treasonous soles when they pass to the other side.

    1. Charles Yaker

      Hal I don’t know if you are aware that the 99 virgin meme actually provides same sex virgins unless your homosexual and then it provides opposite sex virgins. Unfortunately the governments of the world have not told either the elites or the suicide bombers of this reality so they keep on doing what they were doing expecting a pleasant reward in the afterlife.

      1. Charles Yaker

        I might add that it’s possible that the reason the governments don’t inform about the opposite sex virgins is because the governments are as ignorant of the vergin thing as they are about Fiat Currency.

        1. mansoor h. khan

          Charles Yaker,

          We either believe in democracy or we don’t.

          If we do we should start the street level education process (economy, monetary system, etc.).

          Yes, it may take a several generations to get there but at least we will get there (god willing).

          Otherwise, lets give all power to a small group of wise men/women or a king and teach him/her and hope and pray that they will keep society somewhat balanced.

          Mansoor H. Khan

          1. Charles Yaker

            Mansoor h. Khan.

            Frankly I prefer democracy preferably as Sy Sim’s used to say with an educated. consumer . However, I don’t understand how your comments flow from my obviously flawed attempt at humor.

          2. mansoor h. khan

            Charles Yaker,

            your “government does not understand fiat” comment suggests electorate has not picked the right leaders.

            Why? Is it because democracy does not work? I don’t think so.

            Mansoor

          3. Charles Yaker

            Mansoor h. Khan

            The electorate is comprised of a large, possibly majority of people who get thier misinformation from the MSM and is mainly what has been called low information voters.Furthermore and possibly more importantlythe Congress of the US continues to ignore the wishes of it’s constituant’s in favor of lobbieists and corporate benefactors . I would also argue that the electorate believes many of the myths put forth by for lack of a better description I’ll call it the the Right wing noise machine.

            Charles

          4. mansoor h. khan

            Charles Yaker,

            That is the whole point. When it comes to teaching how the economy works, high schools = no good, mass media = no good, our current set of leaders (FED RESERVE and CONGRESS = No good). I would go further and say even college economics departments = No good. How many of them teach MMT?

            we should start the street level education process (economy, monetary system, etc.) that is needed. This means start teaching your spouse, kids, friends, relatives, co-workers, church members, etc.

            Mansoor Khan

          5. Charles Yaker

            Mansion h. Khan

            You and I are probably on different pages of the same book. The problem as I see it is we are all trying to win friends and influence people, unfortunately, we are not organized and have to. Much staff and a paucity of line. Possibly no line whatsoever. (staff and line being descriptions of positions in management, military and other hierarchical organizations) it’s like the two parts of Kirk in one of the shows from the original Star Trek series when his two parts are separated. In a transporter accident. The line side makes things happen e staff side makes sure it’s the right thing.

            Charles

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