Recent comments

  • The strongest effect on population growth is the education of women. If they are literate and can earn money by their own labor the number of children per woman drops very rapidly, often within one generation.

    There is no need for draconian measures, although perhaps China could see no other way since the task of education was just too large to be handled in a reasonable time frame.

    Of course, the extra education and economic independence also means that the restrictions of a patriarchal society have to be removed. This also implies access to family planning services. I don't think abortion is as big an issue in those places like Africa which don't have a strong Catholic influence. Birth control isn't frowned upon as much either, it is mostly an issue of access, knowledge and cost.

    Providing education through secondary school is also one of the cheapest forms of foreign aid. A bit of assistance with building schools and getting some supplies and then everything else can be handled locally. It wasn't that long ago in the US when recent high school grads were sent to teach in prairie communities, often even without the year of normal school expected.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   13 years 9 months ago
  • The reality that population needs to be controlled is something that is never talked about, it's not PC.
    But I agree, considering limited global resources it's a pretty obvious thing, from fish to global warming, this is not sustainable. While one probably doesn't want to step into the issue of a woman's right to choose, certainly we can step into this constant block of access to birth control, awareness and family planning, which also has been blocked by those same radical religious right. It's pretty astounding for if they really wish to stop abortions on moral grounds, the very obvious answer to that is access to family planning, education and also raising the financial capabilities of the individuals on the planet to feed and take care of their families. Add to that many cultures refusing to look at the realities of a global overpopulation plus the repression of women, we have an issue here that is a great wall of silence.

    I must say you have guts to mention it.

    Reply to: Too Many People - Too Little Work   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • is a think tank basically they writes up "studies" that are usually fundamentally flawed to promote McKinsey's offshore outsourcing business.

    I haven't read this but he is a fellow there so immediately I am highly suspect.

    Similarly Friedman's "flat world" is more he is taking dictation from his CEO pals who have their own agenda.

    So, I'd have to read this but so often the spin the global labor arbitrage agenda as some sort of high ideal. Take trade for example, the reality from NAFTA is it has lowered wages standards of living for workers in all three countries involved yet increased the profits of multinationals.

    Reply to: One thing you don't hear too much about in the primary fights so far is.....Iraq....   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • I finally finished The Origin of Wealth by Eric D. Beinhocker. It will soon be available in our Brain Food section.Why did I read this book? Well, Matt Stoller mentioned it at OpenLeft and I thought it sounded interesting. And was it ever! Thanks Matt for the tip.

    Many of you have heard my 'Theory of Pie' as it applies to differentiating between progressives and 'conservatives', at least if you came to the meetings you would have. It goes like this:

    'When a 'conservative' or libertarian sees someone about to slice up a nice juicy lookin' pie they immediately become concerned that there won't be enough pie for them to have a piece. The 'conservative' immediately calls upon government to seize the pie by passing confiscatory pie taxes and then using tax law give the pie to him, the Libertarian asserts that there must be a 'Free Market for Pie' not subject to any regulation whatsoever. He plans to 'corner the market' in pie and never be without pie again.

    The progressive scratches his head wondering at the behavior of the 'conservative' and libertarian's actions and sets about planning to make more pie. He has a good recipe form his mom and figures he can easily make plenty of pie for everyone.

    That's my 'theory of pie'. Now, from very near the conclusion of Beinhocker's book we have:

    'As agents(people) follow cultural norms they interact, and create complex dynamics. For example, let's examine the interplay between those who believe the world is a zero-sum game and those who see it as non-zero-sum game. If your beliefs are biased toward seeing the world as zero-sum game, then our objective will be to get your slice of the pie. You will view someone else's gain as your loss, and your proclivity to cooperate will be low. Rather than searching for new, more complex, and wealth-creating cooperative activities, people will invest their energies in finding ways to capture a greater share of the existing wealth. It is not hard to imagine that thievery, dishonesty, and corruption will be higher in such a non-zero-sum society. The moral attitudes around such activities will also be different: for example, theft might be viewed as 'I'm just taking my fair share...' from someone who has more than his or her rightful share.'

    A certain similarity there I'd say. So far so good thinks I. I've been on the right track all along in my perspective on the vile, 'conservative' world view it would seem.. But the author goes on to set my hair on end fire with this paragraph:

    'Now imagine a (society) in which some (Conservatives) think the economic pie is fixed, while others (Progressives) have a non-zero-sum view.....When researchers model (using computers) the dynamics (of such societies), they often find there is a tipping point: once a society is past a threshold ratio of noncooperators (guess who they might be) versus cooperators (Progressives) in a population, it becomes very hard to maintain large scale cooperation (median wealth), resulting in a 'poverty trap'(see Great Depression).

    This is not the blatherings of some fringe economist. Note who published this book for one thing. The footnotes and Googling and my opinion is that this guy is the real deal and he's talkin' revolution. The author contends that a paradigm shift in the theory and practice of economics is upon us that will impact our lives in a manner similar to the application of the scientific method to the physical sciences.

    Most people called that the 'Industrial Revolution'.

    Reply to: One thing you don't hear too much about in the primary fights so far is.....Iraq....   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • ........seems to me that the politicians are gonna need a crash course in this. The old 'graft and spend' techniques just are not gonna cut it anymore.

    Reply to: One thing you don't hear too much about in the primary fights so far is.....Iraq....   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • Voted same.

    I am now going to put up the sort of typical post I do in so far as 'economics' is concerned. I'd be greatly interested any others views as to 'Complexity Economics' with regards to:

    It's current standing in academia and business?

    If it is regarded as the new paradigm?

    If there are other paradigms regarding a massive restructuring of current economic theory out there, what they are called and how they rank in terms of academic and other acceptance....

    Not too much to ask.

    I am so sure!

    Reply to: Site Changes - What's the latest?   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • bug

    I'm aware that when the vote threshold is reached to move content to/from the front page you see an error message. I have to fix it but for now just refresh the page and it will go away. It's not anything serious and the module is working.

    Reply to: Site Changes - What's the latest?   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • Great analogy. The imagery in all of this is precisely how I feel about it. Thank you for the historical overview.

    I agree, there is much not real investment, real production, real finished goods.

    Reply to: Origins of Subprime crisis: derivatives   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • With such damning statistics and results does main stream media not point out these facts? At best we hear NAFTA is a controversy but the evidence is fairly damning to the point all of Ohio knows the truth.

    Your charts and using statistics is a god send.

    Reply to: Manufacturing Trade Before & After NAFTA   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • Don’t believe one optimistic word from any public figure about the economy or humanity in general. They are all part of the problem. Its like a game of Monopoly. In America, the richest 1% now hold 1/2 OF ALL UNITED STATES WEALTH. Unlike ‘lesser’ estimates, this includes all stocks, bonds, cash, and material assets held by America’s richest 1%. Even that filthy pig Oprah acknowledged that it was at about 50% in 2006. Naturally, she put her own ‘humanitarian’ spin on it. Calling attention to her own ‘good will’. WHAT A DISGUSTING HYPOCRITE SLOB. THE RICHEST 1% HAVE LITERALLY MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. Don’t fall for any of their ‘humanitarian’ CRAP. ITS A SHAM. THESE PEOPLE ARE CAUSING THE SAME PROBLEMS THEY PRETEND TO CARE ABOUT. Ask any professor of economics. Money does not grow on trees. The government can’t just print up more on a whim. At any given time, there is a relative limit to the wealth within ANY economy of ANY size. So when too much wealth accumulates at the top, the middle class slip further into debt and the lower class further into poverty. A similar rule applies worldwide. The world’s richest 1% now own over 40% of ALL WORLD WEALTH. This is EVEN AFTER you account for all of this ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS from celebrities and executives. ITS A SHAM. As they get richer and richer, less wealth is left circulating beneath them. This is the single greatest underlying cause for the current US recession. The middle class can no longer afford to sustain their share of the economy..... Their wealth has been gradually transfered to the richest 1%. One way or another, we suffer because of their incredible greed. We are talking about TRILLIONS of dollars. Transfered FROM US TO THEM. Over a period of about 27 years. Thats Reaganomics for you. The wealth does not ‘trickle down’ as we were told it would. It just accumulates at the top. Shrinking the middle class and expanding the lower class. Causing a domino effect of socio-economic problems. But the rich will never stop. They will never settle for a reasonable share of ANYTHING. They will do whatever it takes to get even richer. Leaving even less of the pie for the other 99% of us to share. At the same time, they throw back a few tax deductible crumbs and call themselves ‘humanitarians’. Cashing in on the PR and getting even richer the following year. IT CAN’T WORK THIS WAY. Their bogus efforts to make the world a better place can not possibly succeed. Any 'humanitarian' progress made in one area will be lost in another. EVERY SINGLE TIME. IT ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT WORK THIS WAY. This is going to end just like a game of Monopoly. The current US recession will drag on for years and lead into the worst US depression of all time. The richest 1% will live like royalty while the rest of us fight over jobs, food, and gasoline. Crime, poverty, and suicide will skyrocket. So don’t fall for all of this PR CRAP from Hollywood, Pro Sports, and Wall Street PIGS. ITS A SHAM. Remember: They are filthy rich EVEN AFTER their tax deductible contributions. Greedy pigs. Now, we are headed for the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time. SEND A “THANK YOU” NOTE TO YOUR FAVORITE MILLIONAIRE. ITS THEIR FAULT. I’m not discounting other factors like China, sub-prime, or gas prices. But all of those factors combined still pale in comparison to that HUGE transfer of wealth to the rich. Anyway, those other factors are all related and further aggrivated because of GREED. If it weren’t for the OBSCENE distribution of wealth within our country, there never would have been such a market for sub-prime to begin with. Which by the way, was another trick whipped up by greedy bankers and executives. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. The credit industry has been ENDORSED by people like Oprah, Ellen, Dr Phil, and many other celebrities. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. Now, there are commercial ties between nearly every industry and every public figure. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for their ‘good will’ BS. ITS A LIE. If you fall for it, then you’re a fool.. If you see any real difference between the moral character of a celebrity, politician, attorney, or executive, then you’re a fool. WAKE UP PEOPLE. THEIR GOAL IS TO WIN THE GAME. The 1% club will always say or do whatever it takes to get as rich as possible. Without the slightest regard for anything or anyone but themselves. Reaganomics. Their idea. Loans from China.. Their idea. NAFTA. Their idea. Outsourcing. Their idea. Sub-prime. Their idea. The commercial lobbyist. Their idea. The multi-million dollar lawsuit.. Their idea. $200 cell phone bills. Their idea. $200 basketball shoes. Their idea. $30 late fees. Their idea. $30 NSF fees. Their idea. $20 DVDs. Their idea. Subliminal advertising. Their idea. Brainwash plots on TV. Their idea... Prozac, Zanex, Vioxx, and Celebrex. Their idea. The MASSIVE campaign to turn every American into a brainwashed, credit card, pharmaceutical, love-sick, couch potatoe, celebrity junkie. Their idea. All of the above shrink the middle class, concentrate the world’s wealth and resources, and wreak havok on society. All of which have been CREATED AND ENDORSED by celebrities, athletes, executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and politicians. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. So don’t fall for any of their ‘good will’ ‘humanitarian’ BS. ITS A SHAM. NOTHING BUT TAX DEDUCTIBLE PR CRAP.. In many cases, the 'charitable' contribution is almost entirely offset.. Not to mention the opportunity to plug their name, image, product, and 'good will' all at once. IT MAKES THEM RICHER. These filthy pigs even have the nerve to throw a fit and spin up a misleading defense with regard to 'tax revenue'. ITS A SHAM. THEY SCREWED UP THE EQUATION TO BEGIN WITH. ITS THEIR OWN DAMN FAULT. If the middle and lower classes had a greater share of the pie, they could easily cover a greater share of the federal tax revenue. They are held down in many ways because of greed. Wages remain stagnant for millions because the executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, and entrepreneurs, are paid millions. They over-sell, over-charge, under-pay, outsource, cut jobs, and benefits to increase their bottom line. As their profits rise, so do the stock values. Which are owned primarily by the richest 5%. As more United States wealth rises to the top, the middle and lower classes inevitably suffer. This reduces the potential tax reveue drawn from those brackets. At the same time, it wreaks havok on middle and lower class communities and increases the need for financial aid.. Not to mention the spike in crime because of it. There is a dominoe effect to consider. So when people forgive the rich for all of the above and then praise them for paying a greater share of the FEDERAL income taxes, its like nails on a chalk board. If these filthy pigs want to be over-paid, then they should be over-taxed as well. Remember: The richest 1% STILL own 1/2 of all United States wealth EVEN AFTER taxes, charity, and PR CRAP. A similar rule applies worldwide. There is nothing anyone can say to justify that. Anyway, there is usually a higher state and local burden on the middle class. They get little or nothing without a local tax increase. Otherwise, the red inks flows like a waterfall. Service cuts and lay-offs follow. Again, because of the OBSCENE distribution of bottom line wealth in this country. I can not accept any theory that our economy would suffer in any way with a more reasonable distribution of wealth. Afterall, it was more reasonable 30 years ago. Before Reaganomics came along. Before GREED became such an epidemic. Before we had an army of over-paid executives, celebrities, athletes, attorneys, investors, entrepreneurs, developers, and sold-out politicians to kiss their asses. As a nation, we were in much better shape. Lower crime rate, more widespread prosperity, stable job market, free and clear assets, lower deficit, ect. Our economy as a whole was much more stable and prosperous for the majority. WITHOUT LOANS FROM CHINA. Now, we have a more obscene distribution of bottom line wealth than ever before. We have a sold-out government, crumbling infrastructure, energy crisis, home forclosure epidemic, 13 figure national deficit, and 12 figure annual shortfall. ALL BECAUSE OF GREED. I really don't blame the 2nd -5th percentiles. No economy could ever function without some reasonable scale of personal wealth and income. But it can't be allowed to run wild like a mad dog. GREED KILLS. Bottom line: The richest 1% will soon tank the largest economy in the world. It will be like nothing we’ve ever seen before. and thats just the beginning. Greed will eventually tank every major economy in the world. Causing millions to suffer and die. Oprah, Angelina, Brad, Bono, and Bill are not part of the solution.. They are part of the problem. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE HUMANITARIAN. EXTREME WEALTH HAS MADE WORLD PROSPERITY ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. WITHOUT WORLD PROSPERITY, THERE WILL NEVER BE WORLD PEACE OR ANYTHING EVEN CLOSE. GREED KILLS. IT WILL BE OUR DOWNFALL. Of course, the rich will throw a fit and call me a madman. Of course, their ignorant fans will do the same. You have to expect that. But I speak the truth. If you don’t believe me, then copy this entry and run it by any professor of economics or socio-economics. Then tell a friend. Call the local radio station. Re-post this entry or put it in your own words. Be one of the first to predict the worst economic and cultural crisis of all time and explain its cause. WE ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

    Reply to: FBI investigates Countrywide   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • Rob,
     
    I did not mean to imply that Democrats are morally superior to Republicans (or anyone else).
    But the Democratic Party has to listen to us because we vote for the economic self-interest of the vast majority of the American people.
     
    The Republican base doesn't have to listen to their "identity" voters.  I don't understand these people, but there were enough of them to elect W twice.  What will the Democratic leadership do when the Black Caucus or NOW finds out who the real losers are?  I don't know if you're old enough to remember when there were blacks and women in real jobs in IT- but I do.  Damn few now.
     
    It's not my job nor is it within my power,  to subpena the records of the largest LCA applicants.  Congress will do that when we have the muscle to make them.  We've got to get past the "preaching to the choir" stage and stage and start going to the house members in our districts.  I've already done that and forced my rep to (at least) hear me out.  She will stand with us if we give her a place to stand.
     
    BTW- EP is the blog I've seen! 
     
    Mike Rothschlid
     

    Reply to: It's Equal Opportunity, Stupid   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • To approach Congress with this claim, you need statistical data to back
    it up as well as personal testimony. What I am suggesting
    is to write up a paper to present to Congress with as much inferred
    statistics as are possible to obtain and also try to get experts to
    analyze this
    from a discrimination against US citizens for jobs within their own
    country.

    You cannot just claim something with no evidence, walk into Congress and
    expect them to listen. As it is, we have numerous papers, studies,
    statistics
    proving there is no worker shortage in STEM as well as many other areas
    and they do not listen at all. They are simply hell bent on doing as
    Bill Gates
    et. al dictates and damn the facts. To not have facts as well the
    argument this is an EEOC issue is hopeless. Also, you do not want to
    present the case
    that somehow foreigners should be not discriminated against for jobs
    within the US. It must be US citizens first for US jobs, US citizens
    preferred for jobs
    within their own country. Call it an affirmative action program for US
    citizens. ;)

    I should also note that Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is a Republican (R-IA)
    is one of our best advocates, so do not believe that only Democrats
    would stop this
    especially since Nancy Pelosi has increasing H-1B on her agenda to bring
    to the House floor, as well as the F-4.

    _______________________________________________

    Reply to: It's Equal Opportunity, Stupid   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • Rob,
     
    If there were studies that demostrated that the H-1B/L-1 enabled age, gender and racial discrimination, we would probably not be having this discussion - or at least, we would be in a much better situation.
     
    When proving racial discrimination, the DOJ simply looked at the numbers and- where there were relatively few women and minorities, the civil rights division could frequently conclude that discrimination was taking place. 
    What if Congress asked WIPRO, INFOSYSTEMS and TCS for a breakdown of their US consultants by race, age and gender? 
     
    "Studies" are only relevant if people are going to read them and only relevant for those in Congress who want to hear the truth.  Let's not make this an academic exercise.  We have to focus on building a movement.
     
    Mike

    Reply to: It's Equal Opportunity, Stupid   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • Specifics please. We need a study which verifies widespread
    discrimination against Americans, discrimination against citizenship status
    within our own country. I agree that global labor arbitrage hurts US
    domestic diversity worst, especially in STEM for it is already
    discriminatory
    against women, blacks, Hipanics, especially older workers.

    But, we need specifics. Do you have any relevant studies to use?

    EP is a community economics blog, it's not just a blog on insourcing
    (H-1B, L-1).

    _______________________________________________

    Reply to: It's Equal Opportunity, Stupid   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • Forget arguing wages, economics and trashing the middle class with "free-trade" Republicans and deaf, dumb and blind Democrats. They could care less what happens to us!Focus on this: The most obvious legal problem with the H-1B/L-1 is that it enables age and racial discrimination. Besides, this is what the Democratic Party has to respond to.

    _______________________________________________

    Reply to: It's Equal Opportunity, Stupid   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • I like the yellow background, perhaps a lighter shade?

    In MS Paint (under custom):

    Hue: 38 Red: 254

    Sat: 235 Green: 250

    Lum: 202 Blue 175

    Also, please make the authentication/human verification code easier to read.

    Reply to: Site Changes - What's the latest?   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • over on the left, just under the site picture is a dynamic menu which should enable better navigation to the forums.

    I don't like the forum layout itself, too many clicks, but it's a TBD. (to be done).

    Reply to: Site Changes - What's the latest?   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • For anyone else, FIFO stands for "first in first out" which is the same as first come first served.

    I sure am trying to create a space for in depth discussion on economics/labor/trade analysis/policy, so feedback is critical for what I may think is cool, others may not.

    I changed the width, moved the forum menu over and am working on adding dynamic menus to navigate especially the forum more easily. Any more feedback is greatly appreciated.

    I have wide screens, so I didn't think of that rolling to the side! We need the ability to somehow post detailed graphs, spreadsheets and this sort of analysis details and make it readable and I'm kind of hunting around to make this blog more "math head" friendly. I just added file attachments because some data just is not easy to format via blogs. Anybody know of any features out there to make it better for math heads to post their research, analysis on websites/blogs, I am looking for those kind of features.

    I agree with you that dailykos is cult zoo. I don't even think people read the posts frankly before rating, ranting.

    I'm assuming something as geeky as economic policy isn't going to attract those types but if it does, I will just plain remove that kind of stuff because it's clearly off topic on here.

    Right now, if a forum post gets points, it will be promoted to the front page and I'll lower the threshold so we have a better chance of discussion threads getting more traffic that are good ones.

    I just got this system working and it's pretty rough as well as rudimentary in algorithm. Hopefully later I can add a "time" slope on it so the length of time a post is on the front page will be longer based on user feedback. Long story short I have to write software to create it (or dig around for a long time with non-functioning code, incompatible and so on).

    I want to give the default to the front page so at least a blog post will be read and if it's not so hot, well, people can just vote it down and it will not be on the front page anymore. That means while it's still FIFO, the more in depth posts will be on the front page longer due to filtering, user defined. One cannot post to the front page a short blog post to also promote quality writing. Blogs should be reasonably in depth.

    If I see this turn into a user popularity contest versus focusing in on the depth of writing, insight, facts, I'll write up some algorithm or do something to fix it.

    I hear ya when someone writes something in great depth on dailykos only to have some psycho babbling idiot do a comment drive by and proclaim your topic as not progressive or not Democratic and usually much worse!

    I'm assuming an economics blog just isn't going to get that many of those concrete head non-thinkers who seem to live to troll rate and cheer lead and if there is a blog post or something just completely off topic on here, I do monitor the content and I'll just plain remove it. I've already done that. Since I'm encouraging immigration policy discussion from a globalization and labor economics view point, things that don't have facts or numbers in them are getting off-topic.

    I imply it in the site rules that people better argue from the facts and analysis, so far so good no real problems and we have had some controversial blog posts already.

    Forums: both blogs and forums have nested, threaded comments, which enables a sane discussion that's readable, replies in either.

    Active Forum Topics, in the middle column, that's a FIFO override for forums that are still active, so someone can comment in a forum post that started months ago, but it will bop up in that active forum list because the discussion is still ongoing.

    I don't like Democratic Underground because to me the forums become unmanageable to figure out who said what and have any in depth discussion in them. So, I'm looking for any design ideas to improve all of this and take the best of the ideas from the blogs and incorporate them over here.

    The site design is also "dynamic" which means changed as I can get to it, get feedback as well as can write up code to improve it. ;)

    Reply to: Site Changes - What's the latest?   13 years 9 months ago
    EPer:
  • The subheads to navigate to books, contacts, forum,etc. are even further over to the right than before. On my laptop the forum pick is off the screen and I have to scroll sideways to see it. I think left justifying these would make navigation easier.

    I'm not a big fan of voting on any site, perhaps others feel differently. What one finds is that popularity is not a good proxy for "quality". Take dailykos, any posting which supports Obama will get lots of votes and those which support Clinton won't.

    I'm not a fan of FIFO either, except for time-based postings such as on an event focused site.

    I thought you were trying to set up a site where more fundamental issues could be discussed over an extended period of time. For this a forum layout is better. Those articles which get the most views or comments can be set to rise to the top of each forum section.

    The new color scheme is nice...

    Reply to: Site Changes - What's the latest?   13 years 9 months ago
  • And yes I meant income. Appreciated.

    Reply to: Jobs Lost for 3rd Consecutive Month   13 years 9 months ago

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