Declining government revenues brought on by declining property values likely have speeded-up the move to close down excessive capacity. Most of the time leaders believe the return of good times is "right around the corner," and fail to adequately plan for long-term declines in funding.posted @ Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 19:17
Hasset ought consider academia's new found regard for private donations as a way to help shore-up their sagging public finances.posted @ Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 18:32
As one who has seen and felt the impact when authorities "pull the plug" on electronic media, I would encourage caution about e-libraries.
Books, op-eds and other media material can be erased, altered or otherwise "spun" for political, financial or other reasons. I suppose "Huck Finn" will be the modernist interpretation with all the racial slurs "corrected."
The "ease" we see in e media comes with too high a price; you have some sort of access as your own intellectual assets are bargained off to the highest bidder.
Generally, of course, "lost societies" are those where crisis rendered their histories "unavailable," and we are left to wonder about the people who occupied the ancient ruins. An occupying force could easily erase a people's history and struggle.posted @ Wednesday, May 22, 2013 - 17:12
Pretty good contribution that focuses on the immediate debate about what to do about a continuing global slowdown.
It was austerity, and not the hyperinflation of the early 1920s, that paved the way for Hitler. Austerity also played a central role in the rise of militarism in Japan.
Whether or not militarism in Japan and Hitler's rise to power were specifically related to "deflation" or "hyperinflation" may be a moot point. What may be more compelling was the volatility in prices and the sense of anxiety surrounding the greater economic uncertainty. Unfortunately, many states around the world, today, may be currently experiencing similar circumstances.
I'd argue the current state of globalization is unsustainable for many of the same reasons the Roaring 1920's economy were unsustainable. Acceptance of the outsourcing of vital components of the U.S. and European economy to "now friendly" low-wage countries like China has hurt economies and citizens in developed states.
Whether by tariffs or currency wars, developed states must recoup lost jobs and associated revenues if they are have hope of returning to fiscal balance. "Free Money," or very low interest rates -- monetary policy -- is at the end of its rope as a tool to boost the economy.
More stimulus, now, can only re-launch unsustainable bubbles destined to rise, peak and collapse, again. Unless policy-makers turn their ears to domestic constituents and remedy policies on trade, labor, and capital that make "us" uncompetitive (relative to developing nations), then standards of living should continue to fall. Most citizens would sacrifice consumption and lend governments money (via bond-buying or higher taxes) if they are convinced policy-makers will fix policy and put economies on a stable course; the problem, today, however, is that policy-makers have a poor track record and seem bent on re-creating unsustainable economies; and continuing on track the attempt to further globalization; and the rise of the new technocratic global elite. Of course, capital owners and managers are the ones behind the curtain on the world stage; and they have political leaders in their pockets.
Massive new stimulus programs would be arranged by central banks and other big financial players; they'd earn huge bundles of cash for their "help," and effectively add insult to the already injured citizens around the planet.
Stimulative investments must be the sort that generate greater outputs than inputs; otherwise, they deepen the debt hole and make make the bad situation worse.
Some Ideas that May Help Unemployment
1. Temporary suspension of wage and labor standards, including the minimum wage;
2. Temporary suspension of "normal" immigration rates for all but the most compelling cases; the proposed "immigration reform" is exactly the wrong thing to do at this point given our economy;
3. Capital controls that would tax at higher rates the profits of multinational companies;
4. Significant tariffs on "hot money" capital which would serve to tamp-down speculative investments and keep economies on a more even keel (help prevent boom and bust economies).
5. Gradual, planned withdraw of interventions in the capital markets; allow the market to set interest rates in an unfettered negotiation between borrowers and lenders.
Huffington proposed that we need a third metric that includes “well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder and to give back.”
Her musing seems a little self-indulgent and if by "giving back" she means a self-promotional campaign to ingratiate oneself in society, she IS the black pot calling the kettle "black."
In high schools and increasingly in "higher education," student hours of "community service" are now proudly held-up as some trophy both to administrative wisdom, and some sort of weird entry in a modern day popularity contest.
In reality, humility and service to others is something done in private; it is the opposite of self-promotion and vanity.
Her's is a useful comment on the search for meaning in the post-modern society newly confronted with another dose of age-old economic anxietyposted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 15:14
Oh hold on, now!
Conventions centers around the state and nation all are in competition to attract these visitors. And while their largess is much appreciated, it can be only a small part of the vision for greater economic opportunity in Athens. This sector as well -- service -- is particularly prone to downturns when money gets tight.
Of course, Cramer's record of service and vision for "what could be," indeed reflect positively on Athens.
Instead of "loving Athens," I wish more leaders would think of ways to make Athens more lovable.posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 15:04
Let's hope the IRS isn't fishing around for comments from Athens-Talks!
A good dose of protests aimed at the IRS may induce bond writers to pan U.S. credit ratings.
No doubt the IRS will point the finger at the Tea Party and reactionary right. Clearly, the IRS may have started the proverbial fire that can't be put out!posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 14:52
Let's hope there is safety in numbers!
Sheriffs still represent domestic constituencies in ways many state and federal elected officials do not; they actually have to live and work alongside the folks they represent and have to -- if they wish to keep their jobs -- constantly find ways to support and protect and respect the common man.
They are like the Tea Party except they have a legal authority to take care of business when duty calls.
STILL, in GA and other states, policy-makers sometimes have found ways to "de-Sheriff" the sheriffs when they, for instance, confine their duties to serving warrants or managing jails.
Give me the High Sheriff over some Washington bureaucrat any day of the week!posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 14:46
Yarbrough at least admits he has a special interest in education funding because his relatives work there. In a broader context, he joins Blackmon and other op-ed writers who may be wrongly over-emphasizing K12 education in GA!
In fact, there is NO link to the declining American fortune and what is going on in American education (K12; higher education).
Wait! Just remembered there is one link: As countless jobs are outsourced and cheap illegal labor is suborned in the U.S., the changing macroeconomy delivers fewer tax dollars that can be invested in education!
To the extent that "education" is properly related to our general prosperity, of course inputs decline as we all become poorer!
If Yarbrough desires more economic security for his relatives, he ought take some of the resources poured into education and use those to shore-up the American economy! As our general prosperity rises, then so can the excess revenues that can be invested in education.
It is most self-serving for self-styled "education" defenders to ignore fiscal realities and expect elected leaders to "save" education from living in the same economy the rest of us do. It's probably even an impossible quest. Moreover, his added voice, here and now, and that of others, does indeed help foster a martial, eyes-front atmosphere in the classrooms that creates an often hostile and harmful work environment (teach-to-test; high-stakes testing; endless innovation in rubrics, best practices; endless quests to boost SPED, testing, and even separatist agendas) that harms education directly in the ways he says, now, that "underwhelming" support from state pols does!
Higher investments in education can indirectly boost the U.S. economy but only when policy on trade, capital and labor allows U.S. workers to recoup those investments. EG, when these policies boost instead of negating U.S. competitiveness.
Now he's way right in noting that teachers already know how to do their jobs. Now how about letting them alone to do them! Ya'll want to have a teacher appreciation day? Then pay for it out of your own pockets and don't treat us by sending one more bill to the taxpayers! Everyday, really, is teacher appreciation day when teachers are left alone to do their jobs; and when they receive the backing and support necessary whenever it is asked of the big bosses.posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 14:31
Second, communism doesn’t work.
But its done wonders for the black market!! High-end embalming, and those creepy perpetual mausoleum displays, also seem to do pretty well.
Thank God in America we still bury our dead political leaders! Imagine an embalmed Bill Clinton frozen in a perpetual leer peering out for generations beyond the grave! (Might make a good porno, but totally unacceptable for prime time!)posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 14:10
@jlscott: Harry Reid once stated it took at least "48 hours" to get Republicans in Congress to agree to flush the toilets. How many hours will it take to flush them at the White House, I wonder?posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 14:02
@theold33: Ironically, midtown remains something of a "gay" mecca; I am not suggesting, however, that homosexuals pray to Allah several times during the day.
It is instructive, however, if we consider that "like" people tend to segregate themselves among their own kind; this is why I previously, above, noted separatist factionalism as an age old and constant burden that retains a potent, evil ability to disrupt and destroy careers, and public and private institutions.
All liberals wish to comment on "white flight," but fail to recognize its counter-part among African-Americans, gays, latinos, etc. Around the world, separatist factionalism is widely recognized, confronted; and often blamed for endless tit-for-tat blood feuds and blood shed.
In the south and in the U.S., however, our civil rights narrative seems to drown out and distract attention away from separatism. That is both understandable and unfortunate; high minded liberals, today, remain purposefully ignorant of a major evil and thereby are supportive of such factionalism (as long as it never touches them, they are willing to go along and support it!).posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 13:58
Coltrain does well to follow the convoluted path with all these secret handshakes and winks.
In reality, UGA and the Regents have NO private funds whatsoever! Every dollar they receive from any source is a defacto "public dollar" whence it is handed over.
There does appear to be an equity issue in benefits but that story may be dwarfed by the generally declining benefits made available to University staff and faculty. As for recruitment, there are many more academic faculty and administrators available for hire than there are positions for them to fill. There is a massive labor supply in higher education, generally, and provision of this "politically correct" new benefit is not likely to change a single employee's mind about working at U.GA.
IF higher pay or more equitable benefits might attract better faculty, then some consideration ought be given to paying less for football coaches, sports programs, and new buildings. Why not eliminate administrative positions and cut salaries; and use those proceeds to better pay the faculty?
The implication that "private funding" allows UGA to evade, effectively, Regent's policy or the law is most troubling. Just because they found a clever way to do it is not an adequate reason to do it!
Why shouldn't the Regent's summarily find Huckaby and Adams as "insubordinate" and initiate dismissal proceedings against both of them? The savings from their salaries likely could fund "soft benefits" throughout the entire system! AND, and added benefit would remind administrators that they are not above the law, or beyond the Regents.
This story is one in a fair number likely to further weaken public confidence in higher education at exactly the time when that confidence is in direst need!posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 13:49
@EducateGeorgia: I suggested that African Americans who have college degrees have more opportunity, generally, than do whites who hold those same degrees; many public institutions actively suborn separatist factionalism out of a conceit that simply changing the complexion of an institution constitutes a popular mandate. Most often it works like this: The NAACP or separatist politicians accuse institutions or employers of "racism." In response, hiring authorities then begin to discriminate in hiring (promotions; pay raises; support; etc.) to reduce the number of white workers and hire and promote African-American workers over others whenever they can.
One reason "separatist factionalism" remains out of the public eye may be media and public worries that airing the issue might further tensions between races. I'd guess ignoring the issues does much greater harm and has the potential for re-stoking dangerous, harmful separatism. It and its proprietors ought be exposed and run out of positions of authority; instead, political leaders often ignore their agendas or even hold them up as "proof" they themselves or an associated institution is not racially discriminating against African Americans.posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 13:33
@Shalmaneser: You are clearly not well-versed in the politics of separatism. Perhaps you figure white workers, students and others ought voluntarily agree to give up their dreams or jobs and hand them over to a "needy minority?" The worst part, of course, remains the fact that whites are not asked, they are told to bow to the new separatist factionalism and they are sanctioned or fired if they do not! What do you make of the institutional failures of organizations that happen to be "all black?"posted @ Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 13:25
How many more Paul Broun-types in the Senate are needed to over-ride PBO?posted @ Monday, May 20, 2013 - 17:29
@Shalmaneser: But one thing slowing a better articulation between causality and law enforcement efforts continues to be the "sin" factor regarding alcohol; folks killed on the highway TODAY can't wait for policy-makers to temper their views and do the right thing. Keep in mind, this proposal, again, does not call for more even-handed treatment; instead it simply puts more fuel on torches already burning brightly.posted @ Monday, May 20, 2013 - 17:06
Um, what about "karma?"posted @ Monday, May 20, 2013 - 16:46
The newest globalization continues to transform the relationship between labor and capital in the U. S. and around the globe; only domestic resistance -- here and there -- can have any hope of stopping the "progress."
The neoliberal policies that aide and abet U.S. outsourcing are the province both of liberal democrats and some republicans. The massive "in-sourcing" of cheaper often illegal laborers into the poultry, carpet and meat-packing, in the U.S. and elsewhere, represent one more back door way to flood labor markets with supply; push down wages; and provide higher returns on capital investments. Yet, many liberals fight tooth and nail to continue this practice with no regard for the bottom line and utterly fail to link the welfare of U.S. workers and those here illegally. It's labor v. capital, not white Americans v. Mexican immigrants!posted @ Monday, May 20, 2013 - 16:44
The Tea Party organization in America and other groups even including "Occupy Wall Street" are centers for domestic resistance against a global neoliberal agenda that has already done much harm to the average working American and to workers around the globe including those unemployed in the EU, and those being burned-up and crushed in consumer factories around the world.
Changes in the U.S. economy that have pushed down wages for working Americans and greatly accelerated wealth at the top are no accident. Our political elite including the current democratic President and previous republican presidents are dependent on foreign borrowing to keep their power, positions and influence.
Only domestic groups have the grassroots collective power and stamina to challenge the new globalization. Until policy-makers tear-up so-called "free trade" agreements and tamp down on the free flow of trade, labor and capital across sovereign borders, the process of globalization will continue to depress average living standards and supply great wealth to our "go along" "get along" so-called leaders in the White House and in Congress.
THAT the Tea Party is subject to infiltration and coercion by RINOS is no good reason to oppose it; the liberal media has done everything in its power to destroy these grassroots efforts, as well; it has thrown its entire weight behind Obama who just happens to be the biggest global elitist ever!posted @ Monday, May 20, 2013 - 16:28
In addition to what seems an obvious conflict of interest, it should be pointed-out that both national and local media operations (print; tv; radio) often re-broadcast "alarmist" warnings (about health scares) without vetting them for accuracy or honesty. The media does not have the journalistic resources needed to move much beyond simply re-printing private and government press releases as "news."
Stock-piling unneeded raxibacumab, tamiflu, flu vaccines, cipro and other pharmaceuticals deplete public capital that could, if used properly, do much more to protect public health.posted @ Monday, May 20, 2013 - 16:06
@gman129: Former State Secretary of Labor and DFCS director Michael Thurmond may be positioning himself to run for the Senate as a democrat. His bid would be dependent on his turning around the DeKalb County Public Schools and getting them off probation and/or garnering full accreditation.
Though he's run, unsuccessfully, for other state-wide offices, the high-profile nature of a Senate bid might favor him; Saxby Chambliss could be expected to endorse his candidacy either directly or indirectly.
Thurmond's, ethnicity, might be a "good fit," favored by state GOP leaders mindful of demographic shifts and the need to appeal to minority voters. He could claim hometown status as both he and Dr. Broun hail from Athens. (Assuming Broun wins the run-off.)
Thurmond's approach may see the office as necessary to fully demonstrate to the state's minority voters that they, too, can have a long-denied and well-deserved Georgia voice in Washington, D.C. He'd be the first African-American Senator from GA; and the historical nature of his bid might help his candidacy just as President Obama's campaign and election generated headlines around the world.posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 18:03
Liberal democrats mostly do not live in the society and macroeconomy that they recommend for everyone else. If, somehow, GOP leaders could foist the liberal agenda and its ill effects on just the liberals, likely they'd have a change of heart. As is, many of the liberals are ensconced in public institutions where they enjoy sustained economic security; if they've favored neoliberal policies that have done so much to harm the average American, why are they allowed to retain their clubby, insular conclaves far away from challenges and stresses the rest face in their daily struggle?posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 17:48
“I’m the only candidate here today that can say I’ve never voted to raise the debt ceiling,” Broun said to cheers from the crowd. “I’m the only candidate here today who can say I’ve never requested an earmark. I’m the only candidate here today who’s been in the trenches, working to stop the irresponsible spending by both parties.”
A successful bid by Broun, like those successful "no" votes on TSPLOST in certain districts, might re-capture the popular imagination and re-fire the torches of those looking to really shake-up the federal government. His opponents talk the talk, but likely do not walk the walk.
Much of the impetus behind democratic candidates is linked to deficit spending and the resultant "rosy economy" where pols can sit back and turn their attention to more exotic issues such as whether two men might marry. But economic renewal in America cannot be sustained if that good economy is dependent on spending more than is earned.
In Broun voters have some hope for real change. Unlike Deal, he is unlikely to pick-up the democrat-proffered idea including a notion that failures in the GOP mean people of color ought be elevated ahead of all others. In the end, what is good for Americans, including economic opportunity, is good for all races and genders.posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 17:39
Policy-makers were and are wrong to imagine that our public school system somehow is responsible for declining prosperity and economic opportunity in the U.S. Generally, we have an over-supply of educated and uneducated labor in America and these conditions were created by policy-makers who deliberately placed U.S. workers and firms at a competitive disadvantage.
Policy-makers, locally, and at state and federal levels, increasingly seem to think education (K12; higher) is a "jobs machine" where students are to be transformed into mere employees who pay taxes that support the political elite; instead of admitting their own macroeconomic failures, leaders and self-serving sycophants continue to push a fascist integration between private business interests and public schools;
When I travel Chase, I often note the marquee which seems to shout to the community, "Look at me! I am all things good and worthy, and if not for this school small children would suffer and do without!"
Some in public education take themselves far too seriously; one wonders if that's simply a self-serving bent looking to stop scrutiny of public spending on education?
Making America more competitive and bringing back "living wage" jobs will de-emphasize schools as "jobs machines," and re-task resources dumped there for uses that will enhance real prosperity for the average American worker.posted @ Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 17:18
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As a huge Backstreet Boys fan, I was little perplexed on reading Nick Carter?s book. It?s not like reading a book about Elvis Presley or The Beatles. I didn?t live through those moments. I didn?t see them in person. But as someone who has followed Nick?s career since I became a fan in 1998, not just in the Backstreet Boys, but as a solo artist, I?ve always thought we had a lot in common besides being the same age. read more
The Athens Banner-Herald sports staff combined to win 11 individual awards on Sunday at the Georgia Sports Writers Association's annual meeting in Marietta. You can get a few more details on that in this story ? "Banner-Herald sports staff wins 11 awards" ? and I thought I'd provide some links to the winning stories for the curious. The awards were for the sports staff's work in 2012. read more