Full Employment Means Nothing.

I know that all of the liberals are screaming about employment. But even if there was no unemployment, if too many people were working for minimum wage–or if minimum wage had been abolished–it wouldn’t improve the general standing of society.

We would be much better off with a strong safety net and 10% unemployment than we would be with 0% unemployment and none.

Some of us have forgotten that at some point in the 70s, the discussion turned from some kind of minimum guaranteed income (there were competing proposals from Nixon–!!!–and McGovern, to name a two) to not giving money to people who don’t work, as if they were subhuman–Nixon later coined the term “workfare” after abandoning his guaranteed income proposal.

Then came the myth of the welfare queen and the window was moved to the right so that only “working” people were worthy of even the slightest break (even as the system moved to destroy the working class).

People who don’t work for various reasons are still people. Some, like those who rear children, are doing the most important “jobs” in our civilization. Others are probably worth paying to keep out of jobs where they wouldn’t do very good. (Just by way of quick example: don’t you wish they would really leave the pickles off your sandwich when you ask for that? or, better: lowering the retirement age to 55 so that younger, cheaper workers can get jobs.)

It’s all fine and good to wish everyone back to work. But it won’t solve all of our social problems, even if it will solve many political ones. Families are under strain. Income would help. But, so would being able to get by on one income instead of two.

We need some good old fashioned socialism as much or more as we need to punch more clocks for the man.

Greek Austerity

I guess I shouldn’t be, but I’m still a bit shocked that the banksters are so against the free market! If Greece can’t pay, the bondholders should lose.

Government interference in the market is always ok if it helps the rich.

The T in LGBT

I’ve always been repelled by engaging in the discussion of whether being gay was a choice. To me, it just doesn’t matter. I’m all for the rights of people born gay to have heterosex and act hetero and all for people born straight to have gay sex and act gay, and a fortiori for people born gay to be gay and people born straight to be straight. But I understand the need for this argument. It’s a basic principle of American fairness that we don’t have the way we were born held against us.

So, I don’t think the prospects of the transgendered are all that great. I’m not sure it will be considered anything other than a choice, even if we can be convinced that people are born with a different gender identity. I also think that liberalization towards gays will cover most of the bases, leaving the question of transgendered rights down to their gender appearance in the workplace  and so on.

I don’t think this will come easy, if at all. The most powerful arguments against discrimination against gays are (1) that classic American fairness about how you were born, and (2) ironically to some, the need to have stable family groups (gay marriage and adoption, etc.); institutionalizing a kind of relationship that exists anyway to allow for stability is important to society. Does this work for the T in LGBT?

That’ll be a heavy lift, I think.

Cuomo 2016?

Let the speculation begin.

Of course, I say nfw. The next President–regardless of party–will be the WASPiest imaginable man, because, you know 1 of out 44, much less 2 out of 45, is some kind of quota or affirmative action. And even a woman would be get everyone whining about that. And yes, Cuomo counts.

Guys like Cilliza either are too stupid to know these rules or are paid to pretend these rules don’t exist.

New Rule: Funding a war is approving a war

This goes for both parties. If you fund a war, you are approving it. There is nothing in the Constitution that says Congress has to make formal declarations of war; it just says Congress has that power. It doesn’t say how. I don’t see how you can fund it if you don’t approve of it.

Of course, this is all political stunt time so that people who invoke the Constitution every time a Democrat does something can scream about the illegal muslim socialist president. But, for all their criticism, Democrats made no serious attempt to defund the war in Iraq.

Our media overlords could solve this problem by simply not being tricked by this Byzantine, nonsensical distinction. A vote for funding is a vote to support what the President is doing. Period.

Sarah Madness

People are far too willing to read entrails and believe she is either running or not and people seem to stand fiercely by their convictions either way, evidence notwithstanding.

Palin is doing the things people do when there’s more than a year before an election and they might want to be “official” candidates. To me, that means she’s “running.” If she has to have some lame press conference to announce it before it meets your definition, then she’s not. Whether or not she gets to that point depends on what kind of support she finds. But looking for support like that is “running” to me.

Greek Potato Famine

The EU is basically telling Greece to lie down and die.

All of the predictions of gloom and doom for countries that default are almost never founded. Look at Iceland. Yet Greece, like most poorer economies with small militaries, is expected to get its creditors paid back in full even though they bought debt in a risky market. So much for the free market.

The Greek people are rising up. They don’t want to take more austerity so that foreign bankers playing at the roulette table can be protected from losses. I don’t blame them.

The banksters not only think they should be paid back in full, they think the Greeks should like it. Banksters don’t believe in democracy. They think they can just make enough arguments using bought-and-paid-for economists in journals like the DoucheBagehot Press (The Economist) and all the people should just go along with everything.

I keep thinking one day, the banksters will realize that maybe if they at least pretended to care about democracy and real people’s lives by at least preserving some kind of social net with these deals. But, sadly, no.