Friday, October 29, 2010
Rebups always screech about supposed crackpot results of "socialism" in Europe (hereinafter referred to by me as "Roman Catholic social democracy" -- having read Tom Geoghegan's latest book "Were You Born On The Wrong Continent?"):
English overwhelming welfare state for perpetual drunks and violent misbehavers while out of work folks are left to sleep in the street (see the book "Our Culture, What's Left Of It") -- nothing to do with us.
French "riots" from the folks who brought you the French Revolution -- their labor market practice is backwards; they strike first, then negotiate! -- nothing to do with us.
Belgian 20% of labor force on permanent disability -- nothing to do with us.
Italian organized assassination of Prime Minister's friend who merely suggested making it easier for employers to fire workers -- remnant of crazed communist history -- nothing to do with us.
German BEST LABOR RELATIONS IN EUROPE -- German most all pervasive Roman Catholic social democracy (originated by West German Catholics, think Adenauer, in the 1950s). Also German best disciplined -- along with Northern Italy and Japan -- production line workers in the world.
Repubs like to cherry pick the idiosyncrasies of each and every economy and package them together as the depredations of "socialism." Germany now says its biggest export to other European nations is (even more pervasive, Roman Catholic) social democracy -- think about it America (if you ever wake up and smell a better life).
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
When I was a young teenager my fellow geek best friend complained while I was sitting on a park swing that I “wanted a playmate not a companion.” Which young friend from reports 10 years after seems was gay. I don’t know if it made me feel “shallow” at the time but for a heterosexual male I was operating according to (innate) plan.
You can call the evolution of animal behavior by a fancy name, “sociobiology”, or you can just say human animals are “domesticated” to live with each other according to prescribed practical patterns – with simple interfaces that can be clunky (a million lawyers rise for the judge but never think: I don’t have to salute the flag :-]).
Straight male camaraderie with males is based on what gay males might think of as very one-dimensional: on mutual interest only. The chief gay male interest in males is the same as the chief straight male interest in females – getting into their pants. This very non-mutual interest may be easy to ignore -- or even have fun to kidding about -- in a civilian workplace but can automatically obstruct the kind of (innate-straight) all-for-one and one-for-all fellowship that combat arms operate optimally with (“saves lives”).
The sexual harassment to be feared from gay males living openly in the non-privacy of armed forces life is as multi-dimensional as male sexual harassment itself.
Straight males pester women on sex and everything else because our social perceptions have evolved blind to anything like the “overweening male ego” in females. I know this from observing the exact behavior in reverse from gays of both sexes. I often have to cut them slack for “taking me much too lightly” – they are incapable of learning “what they are up against”: my extremely self-important self (they would laugh -- this key trait may have evolved to get human males into child raising: monogamy – read “Lucy”). Expect endless trouble once pestering (especially – sneaky? – sexual type) gets type casted with gay – for their part they will never learn.
One more odd concept: gays do not understand why straight males and females are afraid of men because they are not afraid of men – they are afraid of women.
I sincerely hope that Obama’s accepting gay recruits just two weeks before elections doesn’t make a hole in the Democratic Party the way school busing harmed the Democratic Party of the 70s. For fence sitting (what I would call) moderates, it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many.
Giving in to one federal judge’s ruling to overturn Congress seems to pave the way (it may have been paved thus already and I didn’t know about it) for a two-branch, executive/judicial-veto/government. The executive now seems to just need any lone federal judge to claim a law unconstitutional and it can claim the administration must follow the judge – no need to fight all the way to Supreme Court: as much as it thinks nobody notices.
Still think coming out in the armed services should not pose any fundamental social upset that cannot be overcome by a modest slice or two of practical indoctrination? If you had a 12 year old gay son or daughter would you advise them not to worry too much about coming out in grammar school?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
If average output (income, same thing) grows why does the economics profession not understand that the minimum wage should grow along with it (as well as inflation) -- instead of being joined at the hip with the concern -- seemingly their only concern -- that a minimum wage raise may cause a rise in unemployment? Why should it cause a rise as long as the wage goes up in step with inflation AND OVERALL PRODUCTIVITY GAINS?!
Other nations -- sane nations -- the minimum wage is raised in step with inflation AND PRODUCTIVITY!!!
In the insane nation -- what 1968 Americans would call early 2007 US -- our federal minimum wage dropped almost in half (in constant dollars) while average income (output, whatever) doubled.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
My reply on Economist's View today:
US per capita GDP is 150% of typical OECD GDPs. 17% of 150% equals 25% -- presumably leaving 125% of our uniquely bulging GDP to pay for everything else. What's the problem paying?
Same problem that causes every other social disaster in this country: our amazing, incredibly squeezing US labor market.
Rare labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan on what rare pro-labor (do I use "pro-labor" just because he focuses on labor -- which is so rare?) economist Richard B. Freeman said in his book "America Works" (right at the top of p. 266 in Geoghegan's new book "WERE YOU BORN ON THE WRONG CONTINENT":
"... if real wages had risen with productivity in roughly the same way it did in Germany and other countries, then the American worker would have been making $25 an hour ($28.12 in 2010 dollars) on the average in 2005 instead of just $16."
I have just figured out that the Gini coefficient may no longer be a valid measure of American so-called "inequality" (I prefer "Great Wage Depression" or at least "shanghaied") because 90 percentile income share did not balloon any behind the 15% shift in income share to the top -- that begins above 97 percentile -- AND the 10 percentile figure leaves the gutting of the 50 percentile unreported and probably unnoticed by most who read the Gini ratio (who mostly presume 50 percentile share to be more or less where it should be -- true enough in Europe and 40 years ago here).
Not an economist (I do labor -- not rare for a cab driver) but I suspect a new ratio should be added to current "inequality" measures which would compare 50 percentile income to average income in the different economies -- only way I can think of to squeeze that missing AMERICAN 15% in -- but maybe the rare pro-labor economist can come up with a better one (maybe not: markets are not rocket science; just buying and selling).