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Many UGA majors, graduate programs "low-producing," study says

@Global Cooling:

Definitely missed it and thank you for pointing it out. Universities produce graduates. Divisions that produce a lot of graduates are high producing, and vice versa. It's not an irrelevant measure, but it does not capture the intrinsic value or worth of a program to the University, though it may capture the dollar value of revenue based on tuition. Nor does it capture the value to those students who take courses in the program, to those who graduate from the program, to the advancement of knowledge and analysis generally, nor to society as a whole. I hope these measures are not totally ignored in the quest for "production." Interesting article as much for what it doesn't say as what it does.

posted @ Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 13:43

Many UGA majors, graduate programs "low-producing," study says

I agree with Barry. Lee, would you please post the definition of "low-producing?" This study looks interesting, but without understanding the definition of low producing it is meaningless to the reader. How do you measure "production" in any field of education? National test scores? Jobs upon graduation? Jobs in the field upon graduation? Research produced? Real world impact of graduates from the degree program? How do we measure the production of English majors compared to the production of agricultural science majors? Over what period of time. Shakespeare has had an impact, but it took a while. . .

posted @ Sunday, May 25, 2014 - 09:45

Athens prosecutor, domestic violence advocates seek to make strangulation a felony

@Tewise: This would make sense and may be the law in some states, but not in Georgia where the appellate courts are notably pro-prosecution.

The Georgia Court of Appeals has held as follows:

"In charging that Appellant strangled the victims “with his hands, instrumentalities which, when used offensively against a person, are likely to result in serious bodily injury,” “[t]he indictment thus alleged that [Appellant] used his hands as deadly weapons. We, therefore, find no error in the jury charge.” Hughes v. State, 266 Ga.App. 203, 204(2), 596 S.E.2d 697 (2004)."

This was relied upon by the Georgia Supreme Court last year, in Green v. State, 291 Ga. 287 at page 295.

posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 - 21:17

Athens prosecutor, domestic violence advocates seek to make strangulation a felony

@matt1141a: Anyone who believes a "he said she said" case is not winnable by the prosecution has never been in court. It happens a lot. Yes, video recordings, dna, and a confession make a case a whole lot better. But many many people are in prison on the testimony of a single witness. The cases are triable and winnable by both sides, and while the lawyering makes a difference, the evidence makes even more of a difference. A good credible witness in a domestic violence case can lead to conviction.

Both of our state court judges are capable of imposing the maximum sentence and have in cases where they thought it was deserved. But the distinguishing feature of the case in JJ's article is that there was no confinement at all. None. That speaks to the case, and the likelihood that the defendant had no prior record, or the victim was partially at fault, or other specific circumstances of the case.

Your post relies on propaganda from who knows where, not local experience in Clarke County. Go sit in court and watch. Do it more than once. It's free; it's open to the public; it's educational.

posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 - 12:47

Athens prosecutor, domestic violence advocates seek to make strangulation a felony

Joe, would it be so difficult to include the perspective from a defense attorney on this proposed legislation? In Georgia, aggravated assault can be committed with bare hands if they are used in a way that is likely to (or actually does) cause great bodily injury. § 16-5-21. Aggravated assault

(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated assault when he or she assaults:

(1) With intent to murder, to rape, or to rob;

(2) With a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury;

Under OCGA 16-5-20: a) A person commits the offense of simple assault when he or she either:
(1) Attempts to commit a violent injury to the person of another; or

(2) Commits an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury.

So strangling someone, even for a short period of time, is an act which a person would reasonably think would result in violent injury - and where the violent injury is "death or great bodily injury," which it strangulation could surely cause, then it is not just assault, it is aggravated assault.

They are not trying to criminalize the mere touching of someone on the neck (I hope). They are trying to criminalize strangulation - and current Georgia law definitely allows felony prosecution for strangulation, even where the person does not die.

If the prosecutor can't prove it to a jury, then the prosecutor loses. If the prosecutor can prove it to a jury, then the defendant is convicted and can be sentenced to up to 20 years. What's wrong with that?

What is the new offense they really want? Neck touching with evil intent?

Solicitor General CR Chisholm is the chief prosecutor in State Court. If the misdemeanor he charged was so serious, then why didn't he ask for the maximum of 12 months in jail - on which the perpetrator would do at least 6 months under current CCSO policy? Or perhaps he did and the judge did not agree that incarceration was the appropriate sentence in this particular case, given this particular defendant and his history (or lack of history), the particular victim and her history, and the particular conduct at issue?

posted @ Monday, November 25, 2013 - 11:19

Trial of Athens man accused of 2011 murder set to start today

Low level pot dealer gets stiffed for $100. He doesn't retaliate, he meets with the buyer, giving him the opportunity to pay the debt. The buyer shows up and threatens the seller with a gun. Later, a friend of the seller gets in a fight with the buyer, who runs away when the police are called because the police have warrants for his arrest. Buyer then begins threatening the seller, in written emails. They meet and have an argument. Then they meet again and seller sees buyer take out something from his pocket, thinks its the gun (the same gun the buyer previously threatened to shoot him with), and seller, also exercising his 2d amendment right by carrying a gun, shoots buyer in self defense. One shot, not multiple shots as is often the case with revenge killings or with "send-a-message" killings, but a single shot, consistent with the use of reasonable force in self defense. Buyer runs, and dies of the gunshot wound, which is just sad all around.

The article, near the end, refers to this as "the murder," and does not specifically attribute that conclusion to the police. Jumping to conclusions, Joe?

At any rate, given this scenario - or something roughly similar in evidence at the actual trial - the presumption of innocence should be put to full use in this case. There's a reason we require that the government prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

posted @ Monday, June 24, 2013 - 12:04

Clarke could save big on electric bills, energy audit notes

CCSD schools start the second week of August, typically the hottest month of the year. They end in the third week of May. How much could be saved in air conditioning costs just by moving the school calendar a month back, so it started in early September and ended in early June? This has nothing to do with equipment updates, changing light bulbs, etc.

The current school calendar is responsive to testing schedules set by the state board of education, but one would think the state board should be capable of and interested in responding to the savings issue as well.

posted @ Saturday, February 9, 2013 - 23:28

Charter school amendment divides GA tea partyers

@hard8211:

I understand valuing competition as a means of driving innovation. However, the creation of the Governor's Charter School Board does not create competition in the sense in which economists, athletes or horses use the term. Competition requires similar opportunities, and a more or less equal playing field to start. Here, they are not even playing on the same field or by similar rules. This particular Charter amendment simply grants power to the Governor's office to appoint persons of his choosing to a Board to create charter schools in areas where the locally elected school board has voted not to do so.

If you're looking for competition, look to democracy. Elections are competitive. School Board members have to win elections to serve, and these most local of elected representatives have to vote the way their constituents want them to, at least on major issues like creating a new school in their district (charter, magnet or otherwise), to stay in office. If you're looking for competition, that's where you find it.

There are pros and cons to the Governor's Charter School Board amendment, but creating competition is not one of them.

posted @ Sunday, November 4, 2012 - 09:05

Athens elementary school earns Blue Ribbon honor

When schools do poorly we blame the teachers and when they do well we credit the principal? The improvements are due to the work of teachers, parapros in the lower grades, the availability of pre-K, and the assistance of parents at home, in addition to the principal. Credit, if it is due at all, must be spread around.

The fact that poor children (school lunch eligible) show Improvement on test scores in a testing regime are a direct result of the federal mandate to focus on those groups under No Child Left Behind. Though perhaps we should not forget that Georgia, under Roy Barnes, had already created this kind of mandate.

No thanks, however, goes to the yellow-bellied Georgia legislature for its repeated cuts to public education.

posted @ Saturday, September 8, 2012 - 09:17

Out-of-state donors funding charter-school push

@highsmith:

Don't get anything you use caught between the anvil and the hammer, smithie.

posted @ Saturday, September 1, 2012 - 14:05

Out-of-state donors funding charter-school push

@Emperor1972:

Dear Emperor: What do you say to the children in public school who do have a good attitude, who are doing well, getting good grades, and are hoping to go to college (and probably will)? Their parents cannot and do not send them to private schools, but instead they take them to the public library, they help with homework, they encourage their academic performance. There are a lot of these kids, and these parents. How do you explain them?

posted @ Saturday, September 1, 2012 - 08:46

UGA to schedule hearing on fate of historic swimming pool

The pool is a great resource. Kids, parents, students swim, splash, throw balls, tan, relax, meet, talk, network, all with the ease of summer heat. As a structure it is classic - not imposing, it simply does what is needed without imposing the architect's ego. But one of the most irreplaceable features is the location. When Legion Pool was designed there were few buildings nearby and the University had the choice of many sites. Looking across the land, the builders of that generation had choice that we rarely have today, and they chose that site. The pool is cradled between hills and trees. It's not sheltered by the hills - it's an outdoor pool - but it is framed by the hills. They complement one another. The field and stage are part of the whole as well, though the pool has been fenced off for decades, which is a loss in itself.

Together the whole is irreplaceable. Money can't buy it.

But the answer to why eliminate lies in the location. It's land for another building. They don't want to put in a memorial garden; they want to build several stories of brick and steel. Therein lies the answer and the problem. It's greed for the land. The natives have not been putting the forest to good enough use and the settlers have their eye on it.

Has the UGA announced what it intends to build once it buries the history of children's laughter?

posted @ Saturday, September 1, 2012 - 08:36

State high court chief justice wants fewer in jail

@Used2baFreeCountry:

That is one of the complications, but only one. Prison time does not "pay" for the crime. But since people like to talk as though people "pay" for their crime, it's worth asking how do you calculate the right amount of "payment?" 10 days, 100 days, 1000 days, 10,000 days? 1 year, 10 years, 20? If this were truly "payment" then there would be a way to calculate the harm done and calibrate the payment necessary. But it's not. And people have really different ideas about how much punishment is enough. Even the hard hearted disagree on this. Some would punish more for burglary than for robbery, some won't. Some give the first offender a second chance and lengthy probation, some won't. The lengths of prison sentences were ratcheted up starting in the mid 1980's, but just because legislators felt like it. They simply chose different numbers, and the sentences rose. Where is the sense in this?

So, if the punishment can't be calibrated based on any formula (at least not under Georgia law), what about punishment for the sake of teaching a lesson? Now the question is how much time should someone sit in prison to learn never to commit another crime? 1 year, 2 years, 5? 10? 25? The going wisdom is that people just come out worse then they go in. They've been to crime school sitting around in prison with none other than a bunch of criminals. These new found skills, or at least the new perspective, combines with the difficulty of finding work once you're a convicted felon (all the moreso in an economy with a high unenployment rate even for well qualified people with no crimnal record). Surprise, the ex-con commits a new felony. Does that mean prison didn't work? We have to say yes, at least not if the purpose was to teach a lesson.

That leaves deterrence of other persons as the only reasonable rationale for lengthy - or maybe even for short - prison sentences. Do the rest of us really need that kind of disincentive? And if so, how much? If you stay on the straight and narrow because you don't want to go to prison, it probably doesn't matter whether the prison sentence is 2 or 20. The threat of prison at all is enough to keep most of us inline (that is, if we need additional incentive to simply do the right thing to our neighbors, strangers, and friendly corporate entities).

So what's the point? The point is that the system really makes no clear sense. Preventing the NEXT crime is certainly a good idea, but paying a billion dollars for Georgia's "Corrections" system hurts! It's very hard to say where best to spend current tax dollars. Some say we should cut the corrections budget and increase the education budget -- that this is the best way to invest in the future. That's certainly as reasonable as our current program.

posted @ Saturday, August 11, 2012 - 22:50

Charter amendment threat to public schools, reformers say

@ThinkAboutItFromAllSides:

My kids have had homework nearly every day since 1st grade in the Clarke County Schools, but maybe that's not what you mean. There is definitely room for improvement in the CCSD, in every school in the system, but the main difficulty for the CCSD is the lack of an educational foundation in the homes of most (meaning a majority) of the children. Poverty matters, meaning, it impacts performance. It's not an excuse, and certainly some families rise above it, but we cannot deny that on average, it makes a big difference. Who among us wants our children to be born into poverty? So blaming the school system is just too easy. And this stuff is not easy. Certainly it won't be solved just by hiring a private corporation.

I do agree that local school boards can treat parents like peasants, including in Clarke County. But parents can and do run for the Board, get elected and try their best to change the system, as difficult as that may be. More realistically they can form groups, develop a relationship with their elected board members and influence their decision-making.

By contrast, the Charter School Commission will be remote and inaccessible for several reasons. It will not have even the pretense of responsiveness to the peasantry. You are correct that on paper it seems to serve a good purpose, what agency or commission doesn't? But there is no reason it is likely to succeed, or even operate with much loyalty to the cause of children. It is not designed to be responsive. It is designed to bid government contracts to private businesses. Parents and local communities will not have a voice in the decision-making on the contracts nor on the school curriculum.

If they are able to build a great school, more power to them. Where would you put it in Athens and which children get to attend? The really good students in the CCSD compete on equal terms with the good students from Athens Academy, from Oconee County, from Jefferson City and from North Fulton and East Cobb. So who will the first private Charter school in Athens (not counting Ombudsman) be for? In the alternative, why won't the State give the money to fund that Charter school in Athens to the CCSD and let it improve or at least maintain its current program rather than continuing to cut yearly budget allocations (several years running now).

posted @ Friday, August 10, 2012 - 13:29

Charter amendment threat to public schools, reformers say

@matt1141a:

Actually, what the charter school amendment would do is create a "monopoly government agency," as you call it. Therein lies the problem. This is not a question of locally elected school boards relying on a private company to provide certain educational services. It is a method of creating an appointed state commission with the power to create schools and dole out the contracts to their friends. The commissioners will not be elected as are members of the Public Service Commission, for instance (and it's bad enough). They will be appointed and therefore not answerable to the free market or to the voters.

I don't know that this is a liberal or a conservative problem - it seems to me that it doesn't fit very well with anyone's theory of government. I take it you would agree that a monopoly is a monopoly no matter who is running it? And the problem with a monopoly is as the only player in the market it is not answerable to the market - therefore the consumer gets screwed. It is the "not answerable to" any reasonable oversight that is the problem here. Tax money will be used to fund these contracts, but the use of that money will not be subject to oversight by the voters. Local school boards definitely have their faults, but at least there is the pretense of electoral accountability. The Charter school commission does not even have that.

posted @ Friday, August 10, 2012 - 11:14

Charter amendment threat to public schools, reformers say

@silent_majority:

Democracy is the public political equivalent of the private free market. If you don't like government in a democracy, including a representative democracy, then neither should you have confidence in the private market. Many businesses have red tape, have inefficient systems, have employees (the boss's relatives and friends, for instance) who don't do a very good job, and yet these businesses keep operating.

Taxing people who make a decent living is the way people in a democracy fund government activities that their elected representatives have approved. If we don't like the policies, we vote for someone else. In the same way that if we don't like the product, we don't buy it. In theory both systems are responsive to the "market", that is, to the consumers or the voters. Reality never matches the theory - neither private enterprise nor government is as responsive as it could be. Do you have a better theory for government? America is defined by its political system - that is, by its system of government. Should we not give ourselves a little more credit? The anti-government crowd sounds like it has given up on America. I want to think they haven't, but it sure sounds that way.

The bottom line is that the public schools do a fairly good job, but only if they have the funds to operate. Teachers work incredibly hard and are constantly trying to innovate and respond to the new students that come their way each year. The only way to fund schools at the state level is to raise income taxes. This will not get politicians elected, or re-elected, but until we have the spine to face this reality the public schools will continue to struggle and Georgia will remain at the bottom of the well when it comes to education. The free market is not going to help my kids, nor the children of most people in Georgia, go to school. Private school is not a realistic choice. Charter schools operated by a local school system share the same pot of money with the other local schools. Charter schools operated by an appointed state commission answerable to virtually no one take money from the state pot of money that otherwise is distributed across the state to the regular public schools. They are neither answerable to the market nor the voting public nor the actual consumer. This is the worst of all worlds -- public-private cronyism.

posted @ Friday, August 10, 2012 - 11:00

Immigrants prove big business for prison companies

@matt1141a: Immigration court is not criminal court and there is no constitutional right to counsel for indigents in non-criminal cases. So people accused of being in the country illegally do not get a free lawyer. If they can hire a lawyer they can have one.

They get only a hearing, not a trial. There is definitely not a jury, instead the outcome is determined by an appointed adminstrative judge or an immigration officer, not the individual most people would hope for if they could choose a neutral objective person to hear their case. Absent a lawyer's assistance with relatively complicated immigration law and procedure, you have to wonder whether the "trial" is fair.

The medical care is not "full," try it sometime and see if this is your choice of health care plans, though this is true of regular jails and prisons too; and family visits are often not permitted at all, but much more difficult to pull off than simply heading over to Aunt Bea's for a visit. Often people are incarcerated far from their family (it's not like the county jail) and visiting, even when permitted, requires a lot of time and expense.

You might well still approve of this kind of imprisonment because you approve of the outcome (deportation), but liking the outcome and liking how we get there are two different things. And the immigration law enforcement has little resemblance to what we consider our American system of justice.

posted @ Friday, August 3, 2012 - 10:19

Sales tax holiday helps, but some say it comes too late

The original school supply tax moratorium was passed under Governor Barnes and a Southern Democrat majority in both houses. It was eliminated - that is, the tax was re-imposed - under Governor Purdue, by a solidly Republican majority. Last year the Republican majority and Governor Deal replaced half of the tax holiday, with poor timing which hopefully they will correct this next year. You can't always judge a book by its cover . . .

posted @ Monday, July 30, 2012 - 10:32

Protests over HOPE don't sway Deal

@RightWingExtremist: You're right, I shouldn't have said "full of radically conservative activists." Some of them, such as Sotomayor and Ginsburg, are only moderately conservative. But what's biased about calling a spade a spade? It's no secret that the Court is largely conservative, some less, some more. There's nothing suprising about Courts being conservative - the status quo has served the individuals on the Court well -- it's not surprising that they seek to maintain it.

posted @ Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 19:52

Protests over HOPE don't sway Deal

@RightWingExtremist:

Unfortunately, you're reading the language of the 16th Amendment backwards. The reason this Amendment was ratified was to allow income tax at different levels. "Without regard to census or enumeration" means that the number of people in a given state does not make any difference, the taxes need not be apportioned equally amongst the states. Though the language of the original taxing power would seem to have allowed for income tax, the U.S. Supreme Court - full of radically conservative activists then as now - decided that the income tax was unconstitutional because it resulted in inequality amongst the states - not in the RATE of taxation, but in the actual amount. So the 16th Amendment was drafted and ratified by the States. As it stands, your equality argument has never carried the day. The response is that the tax applies equally to every person, based on income. That is, every person whose income is $200,000 is taxed at the same rate as every other person making $200,000. If the next year the person makes only $35,000, then that year he is taxed at the same rate as every other person making $35,000. And so on. Tax deductions, credits and so forth are also applied equally, in that every person who is eligibile for a particular deduction is entitled to claim it. The law doesn't favor or dis-favor any person by trade, language, race, gender, ancestry, fame or popularity. Ths is the same for all laws - they apply equally to each person. The laws governing stock options apply equally to all persons -- IF they have stock options.

Based on your logic, all laws are unequal. Why should only 8 year olds have to go to second grade? Why should only persons over 21 be allowed to drink? Why should children inherit from their parents? Every law creates inequality; some inequalities are unconstitutional. Most aren't.

posted @ Sunday, May 13, 2012 - 12:06

Protests over HOPE don't sway Deal

@HankRearden:

What is the source of the right? The United States Constitution:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Plus the 16th Amendment, which specifically authorizes federal income tax:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

The Articles of Confederation were weak. The founders returned to the drawing board and created the US Constitution, intentionally creating a stronger federal government, with the power to tax, and the power to "provide for the common defence and the general welfare."

So the source of the right is the constitution, and the source of the constitution is the people - including the founding fathers. Love it or leave it.

If income is not "hard-earned," are you okay taxing it? Michael Adams $2 million severance pay, for instance? Is the increased value in your mutual funds "hard-earned income?" If we set aside the hard-earned income as non-taxable, that would still leave a lot of income on the table. Sound good to you?

posted @ Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 23:50

Protests over HOPE don't sway Deal

@Used2baFreeCountry:

It's certainly not "progressive" policies that have run down the economy. The rich were supposed to pull us all up, but clearly the rich have failed in their mission. The Bush tax cuts have been in place for a decade and they were justified on the theory that the rich were the "job producers" and with more money they would make more jobs. But it hasn't happened - unless that meant more jobs in China. So the rich have proven they just can't handle it. Likewise with conservative economic theory - time to be intellectually honest and admit their trickle down the -rich-will-provide for us all theory needs to give way to reality and face facts. They've refused to accept responsibility for their own failures and continue to blame government. Time to quit whining about the government and admit your own failure. Give someone else a chance. Raise taxes and fund teachers and public education, pre-K through college. Build infrastructure.

posted @ Friday, May 11, 2012 - 22:01

Attitudes toward illegal immigrants changing for better

@BoogittyBoogitty:

No. One can disagree, but it's rational to let the wage earner whose income is only enough to cover the necessities for herself and her family, or his family, to keep her or his wages. That way those persons are more likely to stay in the workforce and their children are more likely to be productive members of society. THAT, is efficiency. If, however, for the sake of principle you wish to impose a token tax rate on the poor, say, 1%, for the sake of appearances and to satisfy a certain blood thirstiness that is thriving in the current political climate, so be it. But as a matter of economic efficiency it makes little sense to tax the poor. The rich like to use the economic efficiency argument to support low tax rates for themselves, but they are, quite simply, just greedy. Their argument is an exercise in imaginary thinking. They have effectively mass marketed their proganda, which is why they are currently travelling under the banner of "job creators," which of course sells much better than "greedy fatcats."

posted @ Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 13:05

Attitudes toward illegal immigrants changing for better

@UsedToBe:

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "the government is not the solution, it is the problem."

Reagan was a racist, a moral and an intellectual sissy and the public his dupe. Truly the Sheriff of Nottingham, a sycophant of his own image and stooge to his financial backers. A nice enough guy in his rocking chair, though. Of course, the country itself was established without an equal protection clause, with only men voting, only white men voting, and in many places only landholding white men voting. Women were no more citizens than was Dred Scott. How's that for Used to BE Free? That what you're hankering for?

Taxes only temporarily redirect the flow of money. They do not re-distribute it. The flow is just interupted - like the mill run shunts the water to one side to run the grindstone before the water returns to the river. Because you can't see it and touch it the way you can a river, this is too complicated for political imagery. Middle class salary-earners spend their money on manufactured goods, thereby increasing the wealth of the owners of industry - whom you call "the rich." The money goes back into their pockets and is multiplied.

"Re-distribution" is a deliberate lie, but great political imagery. It is used to convince you that the people's government is taking money and never returning it. In fact, the rich still get richer off of consumer spending, which is the only thing the poor, and nearly the only thing the middle class, can do with their money. So the money is just temporarily put into different service. By no stretch of the imagination has it been permanently re-distributed. The economy must be measured over time, based on the many ways that money flows through many hands. A snapshot of a dollar changing from only one hand to one other hand is money frozen in time. The real question is where did it come from and where is it going. That still photo of money is so inaccurate that it is a deliberate deception of reality - but a powerful image for Time or Fox, etc.

Of course, everyone benefits from improved roads, schools, law enforcement, health care and the safety of a strong military, so we benefit not only by employing people in those sectors and making consumers of them, but also by the actual goods and services provided by the work of the people's government.

The other deliberate falsification of the private enterprise mythology is that private enterprise is more efficient than government enterprise. Private enterprise thrives on the failure of the majority and the success of the few - what's efficient about that? Secondly, private enterprise attracts far more thugs than does civil service. What's so great about letting a bunch of thugs run things? Thirdly, an employee is an employee. Most people want to keep their jobs and above that, most people want to do a good job - their capabilities notwithstanding. Those two motivations in combination are just as viable in the private as the public sector. And private bosses are no better at generating efficiency out of employees than are public bosses. Private enterprise is full of uncles, cousins, and other family members, not to mention friends, who bloat the payroll and do little to help the bottom line. This is even more true for small businesses than large, just as a function of numbers (how many friends and family can you have), though corporate boards reflect the same dynamic as they are largely all members of the same network of associates, friends and even family.

Of course, this might all be a worthy approach where family values dictate your marching orders, but let's concede that family values in business and government runs smack up against "efficiency."

People have the right to keep their own hard won gains? That would be the King of England's complaint. The problem is, there was little "hard won" in his gains (that is, it wasn't the sweat of his own brow); and secondly, the US is run by the people, and we have intentionally established a government that is allowed to redirect the stream of money so as to rationally utilize the wealth of the nation so long as we do so by due process -which, with taxes, means a legitimate vote by the people's representatives.

and yeah, it's a pretty flawed system, but if you want a really quick and nimble government then you want a dictatorship -- better hope she's family (maybe).

So what's your real beef? Just don't like handouts?

posted @ Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 12:07

Attitudes toward illegal immigrants changing for better

@Used2baFreeCountry: To believe that today's economy is the result of the work of politicians over just the past three years, and in addition place that blame on the executive branch and in particular the head of state rather than Congress and a host of other factors, reflects a 2nd grader's conception of both economics and politics. The eight years of the prior Congress' and Administration's policies are much more responsible for today's economy than the work of the current Congress and Administration. But blame away, it's your right to believe as you wish.

The most destructive blow undercutting the economy remains what are called the "Bush" tax cuts. The Government is a huge part of the economy. When you destroy its revenue, you destroy a huge sector of the economy. You destroy consumer demand for products produced by the private sector and the whole thing starts to wind down. The Republican mantra "starve the beast" has had its effect, it's just that the beast is the entire economy, not just the government. And the entire economy is made up of the incomes and spending by millions of Americans. Put them out of a job and you drive the economy down. Surprise surprise. And it's not over yet. Witness the recent cuts to the state budget in Georgia, causing teachers, parapros and other employees of public school systems across the state to lose their jobs.

Taxes are now lower than they were under Reagan, under Clinton, and even under Eisenhower. And the economy is still reeling. Figure it out. Cutting taxes for the rich below a certain point simply doesn't stimulate the economy, and taxes were already that low before the Bush tax cuts. Money in the hands of the lower and middle class worker gets invested in the economy anyway - through pension system investments, retirement accounts, checking accounts, etc. The money is always being held by some entity who is investing it. But if that money is first cycled through consumer spending, it serves double duty and continues to stimulate the economy on the production end, not just the investment end.

The failure to appreciate this, or the deliberate deception in selling tax cuts as "relief," is at the root of the government's role in the current economic morass. Go figure.

posted @ Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 08:25

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    Shearer

    Blog: Watching movies by myself

    Summary:  I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. I'm not saying it's lonely to be a movie critic, but we often find ourselves seated alone in an empty theatre when we're watching new stuff. I know people who say they won't go see anything unless they have at least one other person to go with, but I've always enjoyed having the place to myself. read more

  • Jim
    Thompson

    No cartoons on racism

    As you might imagine, the vast majority of the editorial cartoons available these days for publication through the syndicate which supplies cartoons to the Athens Banner-Herald/OnlineAthens are addressing the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where the fatal shooting of a black teen by a white police officer has touched off a number of demonstrations -- some peaceful, but many not at all peaceful, with tear gas fired by police officers and gunshots fired by some protester. read more

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