• Economics is natural science as much as biology or meteorology.  Supply and demand and other economic forces cannot be governed by law no matter how much we pretend it can be.

    Otherwise why not just make unemployment illegal (huh? What would that even mean?).  Like I said previously, minimum wage increases are meaningless political gestures of do-gooding that help no one.  The facts and research are irrefutable.  The initial reaction to a minimum wage increase is an immediate reactionary reduction in the minimum wage labor force followed by a relatively rapid inflationary response that soon renders the minimum wage increase invalid and equal to the buying power of the previous minimum wage level.  Otherwise why not just make the minimum wage $1 million an hour and we could all retire to the world where we pretend that economics is not a natural science unmovable by the laws of man.

    While we're at it lets pass laws against hurricanes (maybe a minimum Hurricane-Level law?  No hurricanes over Category 1...) and snowstorms and floods.

    When we see an adult working at minimum wage we do not serve them by saying, "Let's pass a small increase in the minimum wage law that might benefit you briefly before the inflationary adjustment -- if you aren't that part of the minimum wage force that is layed off."  We should look at that person and offer training and education so that their value to the economy is greater.

    Let's stop tricking the working poor with B.S. solutions that don't work.  Let's really help them!

  • comment on a post Universal Health Care and Unions in 2006 over 8 years ago
    I'm all for Universal Health Care.  But the real issue is the methodology of the application.  I've lived in both Canada and the U.K. and both health care systems were absolutely horrible.  People there hated their health care systems and many simply paid private doctors for their health care when they needed treatment.

    In Canada -- because of the proximity to the U.S. -- many of my co-workers went to the U.S. for most of their health care and many had fake U.S. addresses and purchased private health insurance in the U.S. and used that for their medical care.  Shockingly both systems have cut-off ages for "curative treatment" with Canada's being 55 and the U.K.'s being 58.  If you are those ages or older - because of the cost -- if you have a serious illness you are not treated but you are made "comfortable".  A co-worker of mine in Toronto found out she had cancer at age 57.  She was told she would receive no treatment but would be able to get all the painkillers she wanted.

    My point is this.  We have always been a very innovative country.  We have often figured out the best way to do things.  We know our current system of health care has wonderful points but is a failure to many, many people.  We also know that many countries have universal health care, but improvements can be made.  Let's study them all and put the very best system together.

    On minimum wage issues, as a proud democrat I can only sigh.  Any economist will tell you that the minimum wage does nothing to help people.  It always results in initial loss of jobs in minimum wage jobs and then rapid low-end inflation that allows the economy to adjust and very, very shortly the new minimum wage only has the same buying power as the old minimum wage.

    The only way minimum wage increases would work is if you could somehow raise the minimum wage while putting into a effect a freeze on all the following price adjustments (not to mention figuring out some way to help the businesses suddenly facing huge -- possibly deadly -- reductions in profits caused by the new labor costs), which of course cannot be done.

    A minimum wage increase proposal is the ultimate in political B.S.  Any educated person knows that it does absolutely no good for anyone and actually hurts those it is intended to help.  And everyone knows that proposing one is also the ultimate in political B.S. because its hard to oppose without looking "mean" and "evil".

    If minimum wage increases actually helped people and could operate in a vacuum (without having causal effect) then why don't we just make the minimum wage $1 million dollars an hour and then we can all just be rich and never work again?

    You help workers by training them and educating them to have a greater value to the economy NOT by trying to cram value through to a job that is only worth a certain amount.

    Minimum wage increases will never help anyone, but minimum education and training standards would.  NOW everyone start screaming for my heresy in pointing out the fallaciousness and political pandery of minimum wage increases.  Sorry to speak truth to political expediency...

  • comment on a post Union-owned Media over 8 years ago
    Newspapers are dying, what difference does it make.

    If unions buy out these newspapers it'll just be another example of a large corporation screwing working people.  These papers are for sale because they are flat broke.  Readership falls and falls, and gets older and older (younger newsreaders get their news on the internet).  Advertisers are abandoning newspapers in droves.

    Please!  Someone warn these workers not to foolishly buy these newspapers and start training for another career...

  • comment on a post Privacy-Gate over 8 years ago
    Sadly, people don't care.  I do, I hate it and I hate these Repugs... but I am but a small minority.  Plus it turns out Clinton and Carter had the same options available to them.  But the issue really is... people don't care.  They want to feel safe, whether they really are or not.  Just watch.  Our leaders are going to make a big stink about this and not only will people not care but I predict it'll actually wind up working against us.  It'll wind up with more people saying, "See, those Democrats are just so weak on national defense and protecting Americans."  Sigh... sometimes it's all so depressing...
  • comment on a post While Democrats slept... over 8 years ago
    You are CORRECT, what people think the Repubs stand for is false.  But, people still believe it and can articulate it.  Ask people what the Repubs stand for and they will... as you did... say something like "Small government, low taxes and a strong national defenses".  Sure it isn't true, but that is hardly the point.

    You further make my point by not even attempting to articulate a Democratic position.  No one can sum up simply in one sentence what we supposedly stand for.  One of the problems is that our message IS muddled because as a party we lack consistency.  For example and again... on Iraq, prominnent members of our party have EVERY conceivable position in the spectrum.

    I understand your anger because this is extrememly problematic and foretells even MORE trouncings at the polls...

  • on a comment on While Democrats slept... over 8 years ago
    I hate losing and I hate the concept that it is better to chat with each other and pretend everything is going to be fine than to actually do some hard work and develop a comprehensive plan to actually gain political power.

    Hand-wringing that leads to positive action and change is far preferable to daydreaming that leads to more of the same:  losing election after election.

  • comment on a post While Democrats slept... over 8 years ago
    Other than some kind of loose We-Sure-Hate-Bush coalition it is VERY unclear just exactly what it is we stand for.
  • Say what you will about ol' Bill Clinton.  Like him or love him or, like me, be somewhere in between (he signed the Repug Welfare plan for God's sake!) you are only kidding yourself -- and a lot of people seem to be on this issue -- if you think Clinton was some kind of electoral juggernaut.  Clinton's election was just a happy accident.

    In 1992 Clinton bumbled his way into the White House on a WHOPPING 43% of the vote.  Perot ran as a third party candidate and split up the usual Repug/conservative vote and Clinton stumbled in to office.  In 1996 -- the economy was roaring at record levels (something that normally gives an incumbent President a landslide victory) and Clinton was reelected with a HUGE 49% of the vote (Perot again saved a day by running again and mangling the Repug/conservative vote).

    So any analysis of how Clinton got elected is just a waste of time.  Clinton got elected because Ross Perot interfered with the normal anti-democratic party vote and the re-elected for the same reason.  Period.

  • comment on a post Rape, The Law and Unspoken Prejudices over 8 years ago
    I'm a woman and I am tired of this -- "men are evil" -- nonsense that the most extreme fringes of so-called feminism has foisted upon our culture.

    Time after time men have gone to jail on rape allegations because it was decided that the woman -- the complainant -- was more credible.  Rape cases painfully often come down to "he said, she said" and a judge or jury have to make the exact same determination.

    So this time -- a very rare time it should be noted -- it was decided that the woman was the one lacking credibility.  OH MY!  It must be the evil men...

  • comment on a post Bush's approvals are inching up... over 8 years ago
    Fox polling is done by Opinion Dynamics, a polling company owned by former and occassionally current Democratic Party operatives.  Fox polling and Rasmussen have been the most accurate polls the last 3 elections cycles.

    I know you hate it but truth is truth.  Rove and Bush didn't care that his polling was in the dumps for awhile.  What matters to them is the fall elections.  They've planned their current public opinion counter-offensive to peak at election time.  It's very frightening to point out that they are only one week in to their counter-offensive and the polls are moving very, very steadily in Bush's favor.  Hate Rove all you want, but he knows what he is doing.  We need to fight back!

  • No one, and I mean no one (historian, associate, etc.) believes JFK wrote Profiles in Courage.  Most historians claim it was actually written by Ted Sorenson, some claim Richard Reeves.  The closest JFK came to writing the book -- according to insiders -- is while he was hospitalized in with his Addison's disease problems (something that was always hidden from the public, they would claim he had "back problems resulting from his PT 109 injuries") his Dad Joseph commissioned a number of writers to come up with book ideas and outline them so that JFK could publish a book to help his presidential ambitions.

    I'm a lifelong Democrat and liberal, and a proud 100% Irish-American.  But when I became an adult and studied the Kennedys and their family I learned that -- sadly -- they are and were nothing to be proud of.  JFK chased women, used drugs, was in a sham for-the-public marriage and did absolutely NOTHING as president.  He was going to Texas that November because he had been such a poor president it appeared as if he was positioned for a huge loss in his 1964 re-election attempt, even in what was then called the "solid south" (believe it or not that meant for the Democrats back then) and he was trying to shore up support.

    JFK, like Marilyn Monroe and Princess Di is just the beneficiary of our bizarre media culture that often turns the very ordinary -- or worse -- into greater people because of their untimely death.

  • What is frustrating about it is the Republicans stuck together even though we know some wanted to vote the other way but the Democrats -- once again -- were unable to maintain any party loyalty.
  • If you think Salazar is great, than you are a conservative.  That is your right.  But let's not pretend that he isn't a Republican in Democrat clothing.  He votes conservative and is clearly not liberal in anyway.  Contratulations, a win for Salazar was one more step towards the Dem Party being the "Me, too" Republicans.  Why not just change the party name from Democrat to "Republican, too!"?
  • But this is Illinois, a very blue state that will remain that way.  But the worry is the national trend.  What makes you think a "great progressive" era is about to dawn?  The fact that that most Dems that can squeak out a weak our conservative?  Obama winning in Illinois and Corzine winning in NJ is no surprise.  But in many other places the Dems think the way to win is to just give up and try to out-conservative the conservative Republicans.  Everything Kaine in VA stands for is diametrically opposed to what Obama stands for, and the Kaine's are becoming more and more powerful in the Dem Party while the Obama's look like accidental throwbacks to the old liberal days of the 60's.  We need to seize our party and return it to its liberal roots or soon the Republicans will be considered the "liberal" party.
  • comment on a post Why should we be happy that Kaine won? over 8 years ago
    The issue is liberalism versus Conservatism.  And Conservatism has clearly won.  Even with most of you!  You don't care whether a candidate is conservative or liberal, as long as they are a Democrat.  More and more all the Dem Party has become is Republican-lite, and in some cases even MORE conservative than the Republicans.

    The trend is disgusting but unmistakable.  I've watched it all of my adult life.  Conservatism started taking hold in the 70's and it continues to get stronger and stronger each year.  Just as it has this year... sigh!

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