« July 2009 | Main | September 2009 »

August 2009 Archives

August 1, 2009

The skipper, brave and sure

I'm off tonight to sail to Maine. Wish me luck and pour a libation to Poseidon and Amphitrite.

Updates to this site, from me at least, will depend on where I drop the hook en route and whether there's a Starbucks or a public library near the shore. Owen and Al, I hope, will keep the home fires burning.

August 2, 2009

A Rebel Alliance? Guest post, by Cal Zero

A rebel alliance?
by Cal Zero


And now, your highness, we will discuss the location of your hidden rebel base...

Most people who follow labor news already know about the loud denunciations of Andy Stern at last month's UNITE-HERE convention.

"Piracy on the Seas of Labor!" proclaimed AFSME head Gerald McEntee;“Deplorable!” lamented Laborers President Terrence O’Sullivan; and, most colorfully, Vince Giblin of the Operating Engineers' repeatedly referred to Stern as "the Darth Vader of the labor movement."

Many would-be labor leftists are applauding the news, some of them cheered by what they regard as a lifting of the indifference with which labor watched Stern's quashing of UHW President Sal Rosselli and the busting of the Puerto Rican teachers' union; some have even wondered if this might not presage a "reunification of the labor movement".

What a pipe dream!

For leftists to believe, however cautiously, that this new "solidarity" of labor can put us on the road to "build fighting, democratic unions" is a feel-good delusion of the highest order.

It's just too easy to put a black hat on Stern, too easy to beat up on SEIU as "the bosses' lackey union," too flattering to bask in the press attention that any attack on labor's most powerful leader will inevitably garner. Just ask Jimmy Hoffa.

There's so much lazy thinking going on - and an understandable reluctance to dig into this stinking pile - that it's easy to lose sight of the basic facts:

1) The "sanctity of jurisdiction" is never, but never, really about organizing strong unions. It is about not having your union's cozy deal with the employers disrupted.

2) "Democracy" is fine as a value, and occasionally important as a rallying cry, but it is a very easy claim to manipulate, and down-right pathetic as a cover for weakness and demoralization.

3) Raising an outcry against SEIU's "organizing at any price" is a handy distraction if you're not doing any organizing at all.

4) Strong unions are built, not in an rarified atmosphere of political peace, but on hard-won common ground. Some rivalry between unions is not only unavoidable, it can be a good air-clearer.

5) This fragile anti-SEIU "unity" will amount to nothing.


Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?

My question: is a policy of all-out war against the SEIU is a real option, or just an ideological red herring? What, other than union busting, would "all-out war" even mean? Should we bust the SEUI "just to see it die"? It's important to be clear that this is what Wilhelm and his supporters advocate.

I don't see how this can be a viable strategy for unionists. As I see it, the only consistent policy is one of constructive engagement and mediation at the top, and cooperation and organizing under both flags at the grass roots. To counter Stern's opportunism with demagogic covictioneering won't make strong unions - it will only create political space for a new opportunism.

This, then, is what is being revealed: that the UNITE HERE merger - and the Change to Win coalition - were never based on sound principles. The cash-strapped HERE wanted to sieze UNITE's assets; Bruce Raynor saw HERE's jurisdiction as a road to political prominence; and the CtW unions most of all just wanted out of the AFL-CIOs per capitas and legacy costs.

And to think, these "leftist" dunderheads - surveying the havoc caused by these ill-concieved maneuvers - see a "new hope" in more opportunism!

Perhaps a real wave of labor militancy is rising, but this is still just chop; we ain't surfin' USA yet. Until then, keep your head, and don't miss the comic side of this political theater.


Bruce Raynor: the Bib Fortuna of the labor movement

August 7, 2009

For economists

Shorter Samuel Brittan.

The findings are in: for actually existing economists, a knowledge of the economy is impractical, and irrelevant to their careers.

To my way of thinking, this makes them perfect for guiding, overseeing and opining on actually existing capitalism.

Differing Realities

Differing realities... with a difference! One of them is real, and appears in the Black Agenda Report. The other is post modern rabbit hole stuff, chasing the ghosts of the shadows of a meliorism that was never seriously considered, and it appears (where else?) in the New York Times.

I could see getting terribly upset over the cranky and outright mentally unbalanced "town hall" disruptors and their astroturf-driven civic model if the brouhaha over health care reform had any element of reform, other than finding a way to shovel more money at the people responsible for making it a misery. As things stand, there's a good chance this will be much worse than RomneyCare, and create more impediments to any reform that makes things better.

Addtionally: One of the commenters at Black Agenda Report posted a link to this Business Week article.

As the health reform fight shifts this month from a vacationing Washington to congressional districts and local airwaves around the country, much more of the battle than most people realize is already over. The likely victors are insurance giants such as UnitedHealth Group (UNH), Aetna (AET), and WellPoint (WLP). The carriers have succeeded in redefining the terms of the reform debate to such a degree that no matter what specifics emerge in the voluminous bill Congress may send to President Obama this fall, the insurance industry will emerge more profitable. Health reform could come with a $1 trillion price tag over the next decade, and it may complicate matters for some large employers. But insurance CEOs ought to be smiling.

Executives from UnitedHealth certainly showed no signs of worry on the mid-July day that Senate Democrats proposed to help pay for reform with a new tax on the insurance industry. Instead, UnitedHealth parked a shiny 18-wheeler outfitted with high-tech medical gear near the Capitol and invited members of Congress aboard. Inside the mobile diagnostic center, which enables doctors to examine distant patients via satellite television, Representative Jim Matheson didn't disguise his wonderment. "Fascinating, fascinating," said the Democrat from Utah. "Amazing."

Impressing fiscally conservative Democrats like Matheson, a leader of the House of Representatives' Blue Dog Coalition, is at the heart of UnitedHealth's strategy. It boils down to ensuring that whatever overhaul Congress passes this year will help rather than hurt huge insurance companies.

Some Republicans have threatened to make health reform Obama's "Waterloo," as Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has put it. The President has fired back at what he considers GOP obstructionism. Meanwhile, big insurance companies have quietly focused on what they see as their central challenge: shaping the views of moderate Democrats.

The industry has already accomplished its main goal of at least curbing, and maybe blocking altogether, any new publicly administered insurance program that could grab market share from the corporations that dominate the business. UnitedHealth has distinguished itself by more deftly and aggressively feeding sophisticated pricing and actuarial data to information-starved congressional staff members. With its rivals, the carrier has also achieved a secondary aim of constraining the new benefits that will become available to tens of millions of people who are currently uninsured. That will make the new customers more lucrative to the industry.

So, there's the reform.

August 10, 2009

Crowding Out Free Enterprise

A troubling aspect of the health care debacle, other than the debacle itself, is the valid concern that single payer health care would crowd out free market illnesses. So I was deeply impressed when the congressional champions of leaving euthanasia to the entrepreneurial class announced that they would forego their government health plans. Viral and bacterial infections, which struggle against public sanitation measures already, will at long last have a chance to see what individual initiative can do for them.

August 11, 2009

Prudential Immiseration

no secret i hate the billionaire shylocks


and their "do we not bleed ?"pathos
but right now its all about their "do we not lend ?" lying .... i'm urked by the sanctimony..uncle piles on the instant liquifaction and the tower shylocks ...horde ...yes horde and call it .."our savings" .. and yet big lie that it is
who dares call this saving merely rejected borrowing ...
but it is ...this suddenly emergent 6 % gap between total household income and expenditures is nothin but
a fancy three cushion credit shuffle butt ball

my man mike whitney :

"Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has increased excess reserves in the banking system by $800 billion..."

and yet

"The standards for conventional loans have gotten tougher while the pool of qualified credit-worthy borrowers has shrunk. That means less credit flowing into the system..."
how much less ??

well imagine its the whole 6 % swing we've seen into the golden savings zone .. i bet it is ..
.what if the scotch disease of householder saving isn't really saving after all but a simple reduction of net outstanding consumer credit a reduction of say 50 billion per month ???

the source of shylocks remorse ??? caution ??? ..read !!!

"The banks are hoarding capital in order to deal with the losses from toxic assets, non performing loans, and a $3.5 trillion commercial real estate bubble that's following housing into the toilet"

i think (and mike seems to too after his garbled gusto fashion)this forced savings bender we're on
is the consequence of an ultimately contrived cataractic drop in effective demand ...contrived...
-- note the change in standards line mentioned by mike w ---
i cry "foul ball"... is it not about a new middle class thrift but rather about an optimally enemic macro ...optimal by trans nat inc's gage of course

conjecture :
this great recession in regular amerikan jobs and household credit is the inevitable fall out from "prudently managing "
our hyper horror of a trade imbalance ...errr without diving the dollar...get it ???

first they de industrialize us by engineering a high dollar / low rmb massive trade gap profit slurry ..and now
that pile up of uncle iou's so essential to this caper has maybe reached nimrod topwer proportions...
" they " ...are delighted to let us spittoon ready plebs and proles hoik up "the necessary demand correction"

yup we're to take this global wrecks mojo ..right on our collective glass chin

Waxing philosophical

Via IOZ. Tristero, a procedural capitulation artist, offers up this ponderous deconstruction of libertarianism, and proves that it cannot exist. I am or could be hypothetically relieved. I've been dreading the application of Barack Obama's application of Cass Sunstein's "libertarian paternalism" -- an oxymoron, I know, but as catchy euphemism for actually existing progressivism it works pretty well. The fatuity is its core strength. The infantilization is sincere. In its daily practice, it maintains a ghastly coherence through ad hominem defenses of a branded faction in the Decider class. It's very pragmatic in that regard. The branding provides the "nudge", ex ante, post facto and post hoc. The nudged elide the outcome and intent of a policy and bicker over the means. The branding gets considerably strained in this process, but it can be refreshed in a popularity contest. Progressivism may very well be the only political philosophy that has survived real world application, and remained true to its roots and original ideals, the manufacture of consent.

From The Desk Of: The Ancient Mariner

I've stopped off in Cap Cod en route to Maine. Still afloat, miraculously. Many thanks to Al and Owen for keeping the blog going in high style.

Oh, no! Fascism!

Grateful acknowledgment to Jay Taber for providing this link.

America, it seems, is on the brink of fascism. Certified futurist Sara Robinson gives the alert in the link provided above. Eh... whatever. Historically, the effort to set fascism in motion is the panic-stricken response of an entrenched, wealthy elite that's facing a strong challenge to its power from a democratic social movement. There is no such challenge at this time. The entrenched, wealthy elite are getting everything they want from the Democratic administration in power. There is no challenge to that process from within the Democratic party. The useful idiot health care hecklers from the party of permanent, unappeasable resentment are providing cover for another massive looting, sold to the public in complete sentences by a rhetorically gifted salesman. The hecklers are, if anything, a gift from heaven. A collegial courtesy. Very little nutpicking need be done to make them all look deranged. While the rubes are gawking at the barking mad wingnuts, the insurance industry is happily toting up future returns on their wise investments. Any principled, nuanced opposition to that from the few real conservatives is not going to be heard. The left, needless to say, has already been evicted from the debate.

I'm hardly breaking new ground, or conceding anything to Robinson's argument, when I acknowledge that the Republican base consists of authoritarian followers. They'll work overtime for increases in private privilege and increases in the police powers of the state. They live in perpetual moral panic over trivia. They are highly vulnerable to white collar crime and the least stable of them make good recruits for thuggery in support of it. This has been studied in great detail by, among others, Jay Taber. It is a sad irony that this research performed in pursuit of the public good is being used to form the propaganda basis for the moral panic of another set of authoritarian followers, the merit stooges of the Democratic Party, who are also highly vulnerable to white collar crime, who are differentiated from the Republican base by the conviction that thuggery in support of it is A) the sole prerogative of the state, provided the state is managed by Democrats, and B) should be done through humanitarian wars managed by Democrats.

The state characteristics of fascism that were so troubling to Democrats during the Bush regime are still in place. The Patriot Act and Patriot II, affirmed by Barack Obama when he was a senator, are not going to be repealed. The torture hierarchy is not going to be prosecuted. The occupation of Iraq continues on the Bush plan, with a withdrawal to the "enduring" bases. The overseas contingency operations are on the rise and the war in Afghanistan is spilling over into Pakistan. The racist war on drugs is still popular. The power to police the internet is being increased. The secretary of state and the vice president are still rattling sabers. Private privilege remains lavishly funded and, now, also gets to speculate directly with tax payer money. Etc. etc. So, fascism? Oh no indeed. Perhaps we're supposed to take comfort in the complete sentences.

August 12, 2009


Current events blogging gets toxic after a while. For change of pace, a hypothetical. What if the exercise of power within a political system came at a penalty rate? A year as the mayor of Smbivania must be paid for by a year keeping the streets of the fine city free of garbage and, uh, pet residues. I think this would tend to raise wages and impose comfortable limits on both the exercise of power and type of person who seeks it.

August 15, 2009

Liberal Fury

America is even more on the brink of fascism than ever. It would be hard to get closer to the brink of the edge that tips the scales controlling the pendulum. Fortunately, liberals have taken notice. At Daily Kos, DarkSyde, an avenging progressive, heaps scorn on one Mr. John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods and opponent of Obamacare.

This is great stuff. The caricatures involved are behaving true to form. It's a showdown. The feckless liberals, shopping their way to a better world, are challenging the cretinous spokesman for the rugged individualist hive mind. Both have a problem. The cretin's business model consists of catering to shopping liberals. He needs them. The shopping liberals have to fend off fascism, but they need premium grade food first. My money is on a half-assed apology from Mackey and a boycott that's verbally supported, but never materializes.

Addtionally, "Jonah Goldberg" provides a timely reminder regarding liberals, conservatives and fascism. Liberals are not fascists, they're not socialists, they're not social democrats or indeed much of anything at all. The goading from the dim, fetid recesses of the right wing mind offers some insight into what they really are. They're timid right wing meliorists whose moments of courage produce tedious, self-indulgently prolix essays in defense of their social status. In the ideological scrum, they occupy whatever middle ground they're assigned by the opposing brand. In their actual political practice, they're adamantly opposed to corporate millenarian policy, if and only if it's branded Republican, and peevishly supportive of it, if and only if it's branded Democratic. The lese majeste offered by yahoos and wackos in the pre-fab town halls has ruffled their feathers. The market has spoken and the invisible hand has moved their perception managers, who cry "fascism" right back at the yahoos. They do it for love, of themselves and their brand identity, but they'd do it for money if it was offered and donate a sensible amount of the proceeds to the ACLU.

Too Toxic To Fail

And too toxic to be anything but disaster. The Fed is hiring. Words to cause the stoutest hearts to skip a beat. They have $2 trillion worth of opaque toxicity, it's handled by the worst people possible (think arsonists as recruits for the fire department) under the control of economists whose real world function is providing obfuscatory rhetoric and bailouts for banksters. If the Bush regime was a true kakistocracy, and it was to nine decimal places, what do you call the merit scholar version?

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is aggressively hiring traders as its seeks to manage its burgeoning securities holdings, making the central bank one of Wall Street's most active recruiters of financial talent.

The New York Fed - the arm of the US central bank that implements its monetary policy - plans to increase the staff in its markets group to 400 by the end of the year - up from 240 at the end of 2007.

The Fed, which says that most of its new recruits come from private sector financial firms, is hiring employees as many banks, rating agencies, hedge funds and private equity groups shed staff. New York city officials recently estimated that the sector's woes would lead to a loss of up to 140,000 jobs.

The Fed's need for more traders is a direct consequence of the central bank's efforts to keep credit flowing through the US economy. The Fed has been buying fixed-income securities at such a rate that its assets have more than doubled to $2,000bn in the past year, leading the central bank to conclude that it needs more people to monitor the markets and to manage its credit risks.

Yikes! Please... no. Just don't do it. Please don't monitor the markets or credit risks. Haven't you done enough harm already?

August 17, 2009

Just sayin'

There is, actually, a libertarian solution to the health care crisis. I'm not sure how well it would work in practice, it's very much a Blue Sky kind of thing, but it does have solid provenance in libertarian thinking. The cornerstone is the universal Citizen's Basic Income, supplied by land use and resource extraction rents. In theory, most of the recipients would set up buyer's cooperatives -- on a completely voluntary basis, needless to say. The bigger the coop, the better the bargaining power. Some of the coops might wish to contract with existing medical service providers, or cut deals with aspiring practitioners and finance their own in-house medical service organizations. All very market-friendly, non-coercive and tuned to the reduction of both government power and the government-enabled parasitism of private power. Amongst other benefits, it takes care of the free rider problem in resource extraction and puts a steeply increasing price on extractive activities with environmental hazards.

It would be a hard sell, alas, to the rugged individualists whose free market solution to the problem of existence consists of engineering cozy little arrangements with the political class. I can't see anything like the CBI coming into broad practice short of a revolution.

Willful Stupidity

Carl Levin is the go-to guy for destroying any investigation into oil market exploitation. The accusation made against the speculators was NOT that the futures themselves were being manipulated, directly in a lightly regulated environment, but that the futures were being manipulated through derivatives trading, which isn't going to to show in the data available to the CFTC. Because, you know, the derivatives trades are done out of sight of any regulator. So what does Levin do? He goes hounding after the wrong thing, for which data is available, and inevitably finds that the available data debunks his fatuous interpretation of the problem.

It probably goes without saying that Levin voted in favor of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the enabling legislation for games played by the "masters of the universe". Here's the Senate Roll Call Vote for it.

August 19, 2009

Death Panels

There's a lot of confusion about the so-called "death panels". Their proper name is the Citizens' Select Panels for End of Life Consultation. It's similar to a jury. Your end of life consultation will be administered by your peers, in coordination with the Department of Motor Vehicles and your insurance provider, if you have one. If you don't, the DMV will stand in for you.

I sat on a panel today. As a budgetary measure, for cost savings, they're combined with random traffic stops. The police recruit a jury from the cars as they wait to get through the checkpoint. Potential cost-saving consultees are selected at random, often from the same car as the jurists. This is a community-building measure and gives all parties a sense of solidarity, a sense of shared responsibility. The DMV and the insurance providers do a quick cost benefit analysis, which is forwarded to Peter Orszag's office, processed with a spread sheet application and checked for accurate metrics. It's very quick. The results are given to the jury. The consultation itself is outsourced to Xe, Inc, formerly Blackwater. They're trying to clean up their reputation and this private/public partnership is their best opportunity. The vehicles of the consultees are towed away and exchanged for fuel efficient police vehicles; Mercury Mariner hybrid SUVs are very popular.

The policeman who recruited me explained that the consumer-driven, little pun there, reforms are not as popular as he expected, but as the unemployment rate creeps up the compensation for the jurists, who get a $25 per diem and a $5 decider's dividend, will make a big difference. I suppose it will. Yes, I suppose it will.

Greater Evilism and the Shopping Liberals

It looks like I was too hard on John Mackey, the transgressing Whole Foods dude, and not nearly hard enough on the shopping liberals. In the regrettable context, which this most certainly is, the liberal venom towards him could, hypothetically, make things much worse for a lot of people. They have once again rejected a lesser evil for a much greater one. Fortunately, the shopping liberals are so miserably feckless that their boycott threats won't amount to shit. They'll still make things worse in other areas, for example, Kabul, Baghdad and Colombia, but it looks like this one is beyond their ability to ruin. Because it requires something more than passivity and spite.


The pettiness and idiot grandiosity of the shopping liberals is way over the top. The stock market is not the real economy. Corporate management can be punished for doing something half-decent and rewarded for doing something that destroys the company.

Only the yuppie lynch mobs of shopping liberals could find a way to get a corporation defended by the left.


A few words to clarify. If single payer were on the table, things would be different. But it's not. If a broad public option were on the table, things would be different. But it's not. Solicitude for the worst of the worst is on the table. And it's staying there, no matter what. Mackey does stand to be hurt, as it happens, if he intends to keep providing employee health care. In these circumstances, the boycott threatened by the shopping liberals is egregious vanity and spite.

August 21, 2009

The Thanksralphers Are Back

Via Smithee, the Revenge of the Nader-Baiters.

Here is a person who has been rolled in ways that are criminal and unforgivable, who is being rolled right now, who finds solace in the memory of condescending to kids who don't care to be rolled. It looks, for all the world, exactly like the "wisdom" of the smart high school kids who mistake an accommodation with vindictive, whimsically delusional authority for maturity. A few steps up the food chain, this freak show version of a modus vivendi is called crackpot realism; Peter Orszag and Samantha Power territory.

Maybe there's some comfort in being a more articulate snack than the poor saps who cry 'keep your government hands off my Medicare!'.

August 22, 2009


"There is something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up," said President Obama. "Senate go oopsie go ouchy," he further explicated. When pressed for an explanation by the embedded reporters at the White House, spokesman Bill Gibbs scolded the giggling, tittering gaggle for the frivolity of their "caca doodoo" questions. After a potty break and a quiet time, the semblance of decorum was restored.

That's not entirely factual, but I can't for the life of me swear it's not true.

August 23, 2009

Tough times for the comprador liberals

On the same July day that the UC Board of Regents cut $813 million from UC budgets - setting in motion pay cuts, layoffs and campus cutbacks - the board quietly approved pay raises, stipends and other benefits for more than two dozen executives.

University officials were quick to characterize the increased pay in a positive light.

"It's really a story about cost savings," said Barbara French, a UCSF spokeswoman, adding that three people on her campus who won hefty pay increases took on new duties and deserved to be compensated.


It's the same ethos as the bankster bonuses and pay raises. None of them do anything for the essential functions of their institutions that couldn't be done better and cheaper by employees who have hit one of the institutional social glass ceilings. The only exceptional things these minor league compradors have to offer are their connections to each other, driven by the conviction that entrenchment is a socially beneficial entitlement. In good times, when the institutions are flush with paper wealth, there's some grumbling over that, easily dismissed as ressentiment by the anteroom clowns. In harder times, for everyone else, the elaborately fussified ad hominem dismissals get a little nastier, and the vulgar realities of chicken plucking gain immediacy.

More vicious than Bush

Here's a feeler for an assault on Social Security. The probe comes in the form of mooting the elimination of the next two years of cost of living adjustments. The Obama regime remains on track to be more destructive and mindlessly vicious than the Bush regime.

August 24, 2009

The Fog Horse


i owen lattimore paine
do sincerely think policy discussions get ridiculously fogged in
by galloping trojan horse socialisms
we lefticles devise mindwise like pub op
yes we need to be able to call the balls and strikes here from the stands
but ..welll .....for instance
after long and deep meditation i think the formal diffs between
any of these elves vs dwarfs health payment reforms
are wildly secondary to over all health sector cost containment


i mean we honest pwogs need to get off the pri sec for profit jag

one way or other we're gonna get universal coverage
and that puppy all by itself will entrain the rest of the story
so i say leave "our side" of this studio grapple to the merit goo goos and move on
well ..... meat and fries issues not merit spinich fests
like uncle health care

ought not the real anti corporate america fight
be over an actual class universal
like full employment macro
minimum wage indexing
job orging rights ???

August 25, 2009

Managerial Philistinism

Barney Frank gets nasty in response to wild hyperbole from a loon at a canned town hall, in which "debate" is a euphemism for a marketing push. The effect is surreal. Frank is tasked with the sales pitch of a product that does not yet exist, even in its eventual, inevitable bait and switch form. The reluctant consumer puts the idiot in useful idiot, for the benefit of Frank, who couldn't ask for a better opposition. Liberals offer middle management applause to the equivalent of an angry marketing veep losing his shit over a bat shit crazy mail room clerk who is delivering the package he needs for a promotional effort.

The real world context and content of the farce is completely irrelevant to the applauders. A merit class senior manager, oh blessed relief, is showing signs of shaking off the nembutal haze of a decade's long powerpoint presentation. He could be attempting to fuck the xerox machine, for all they care, as long as he's doing it loudly, vigorously and in a way that offends people they just don't like; it's a mirrored version of the corporate millenarians' corporate epater les bourgeois.

Footnote: Thanks to Jay Taber for this profile of Alan Gottlieb.

August 26, 2009

Proxy blogging for Owen

Childgrinder edition...


just tried to read a three parter over at counter punch on the plot to blow our dear public school system to non lucretian atoms ie into an unending dickensian walpurgisnacht of sundry charter school conspiracies and
that not being enough a trunk full of our Abaddon of pettyfogged pedagogy
' no child left unground '...... yikes! oh the horror the horror woven into these dull tales !!!!

the triptych is by one danny weil ..."soon to publish "Charter Schools", dissecting neo-liberalism's plan for reforming education in America"

yes friends the perils of loco foco pub ed make the pending spike of the fed pub op look like a mercy killing




and yet what a bore's brunch this rad headed leaguer can make out of fre form expose
hey no holds bared here mate its counter punch not the sunday times ...ahh well u go ahead and read them all three
and come back and comment ...its proving a little too much grimola for me

August 28, 2009

The mooching, freeloading, parasitic Associated Press

Charles Davis caught them, and makes a number of reasonable observations.

The socialist solution to the free rider problem, in that area, is relatively simple. Our access fees for using the internet, a utility developed at public expense, are outrageous. A substantial portion of the fees we pay are currently being spent by organizations that dedicate the money to rent-seeking and working against our interests. I think we'd be much better off if this misused money was, instead, paid out in royalties to the writers and other creative types whose work makes keeping access to the internet worthwhile.

The details would take some effort to hash out, but I think the justice of it is pretty clear. Those of us who do this for the love of it would not be harmed. Those who make a living with their writing would be able to devote more time and resources to their work. The money currently spent on rent-seeking and abuse of state power would clearly be better used if placed in the hands of people who perform valuable labor.

About August 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in August 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2009 is the previous archive.

September 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31