Addressing America’s Infrastructure Deficit

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Today from 9:30 am until about 12:30 pm, The Atlantic will be hosting a forum in the US Senate on the costs and opportunities of a national infrastructure bank.
The sessions follow after the extension — and the meeting will stream live here. There are many deficits in America’s current economic portfolio — a large budget deficit, huge current account and trade deficits, a jobs deficit — but there is also an infrastructure deficit that neither government measures nor the private markets seem able to address under current conditions.
Among those headlining today’s program are Senators John Kerry, Kay Baily Hutchison and Mark Warner. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro will also be speaking.
Yours truly will be chairing a number of the sessions as well as my colleague National Journal Chief Correspondent Michael Hirsh.
All of the sessions are really cool — but particularly looking forward to Business Roundtable President and former State of Michigan Governor John Engler’s comments — as well as those of AFL/CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee.
More soon. Tune in.
The program follows after the extension.


The Atlantic
cordially invites you and your colleagues to a national policy forum
A BANK TO RE-BUILD AMERICA?
Wednesday, June 8, 2011 – 9:15 am – 12:30 pm
Senate Dirksen Building, Room 106
UNITED STATES SENATE
Constitution Ave and First St, NE Washington, DC
RSVP directly to this email or sclemons@theatlantic.com
For those interested and unable to attend or not in Washington, this event will stream live at http://www.WashingtonNote.com
9:15 – 9:30 am
Coffee & Registration
9:30 – 9:35 am
Welcome and Introduction
Steve Clemons
Washington Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic
Senior Fellow & Founder, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
Bernard L. Schwartz
CEO, BLS Investments
Member, Board of Directors, New America Foundation
9:35 – 10:30 am
How An Infrastructure Bank Could Work
Robert Dove
Managing Director, Carlyle Group
Sherle R. Schwenninger
Director, Economic Growth Program, New America Foundation
Brian Pallasch
Managing Director, Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiative
American Society of Civil Engineers
Michael Likosky
Senior Fellow, Institute for Public Knowledge, New York University
Professor of Law, SOAS, University of London
Author, Law, Infrastructure and Human Rights
Tyler Duvall
Associate Principal, McKinsey & Company
moderator
Michael Hirsh
Chief Correspondent, National Journal
10:30 – 11:30 am
Establishing an American Infrastructure Bank: Why An American Infrastructure Bank Now?
(Speakers will speak individually, not as panel)
keynote remarks
The Hon. John Kerry (D-MA)
Member, US Senate Committee on Finance
Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources & Infrastructure
United States Senate
commentary
The Hon. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3)
Member, US House Appropriations Committee
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services and Education
United States House of Representatives
The Hon. Mark Warner (D-VA)
Member, US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation
United States Senate
introductions
Steve Clemons
Washington Editor-at-Large, The Atlantic
Senior Fellow & Founder, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
11:30 am – 12:00 pm
Odd Bedfellows? Labor & Industry Views on America’s Infrastructure Deficit
The Hon. John Engler
President, The Business Roundtable
Former Governor, State of Michigan
Thea Lee
Deputy Chief of Staff & Former Chief International Economist, AFL/CIO
12:00 – 12:30 pm
Why an Infrastructure Bank is Good for America
(lunch provided)
The Hon. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
Ranking Member, US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation
United States Senate
introduction
Bernard L. Schwartz
CEO, BLS Investments
Member, Board of Directors, New America Foundation
12:30 pm
Adjournment

— Steve Clemons

Comments

55 comments on “Addressing America’s Infrastructure Deficit

  1. questions says:

    More garbage! But you know what, since you posted on the econ thread up at the top, I will stay away from it. I’ll hang out down here in the dump with my mental refuse:
    “Henceforth, I will call the current unpleasantness not “The Great Recession,” but rather “The Little Depression.””
    DeLong.
    http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2011/06/the-little-depression.html
    And this, a devoted DeLong reader, Bonddad:
    http://bonddad.blogspot.com/2011/06/is-there-economist-delong-hasnt-read.html
    And Christakos and Fowler are being taken on. This is perhaps pretty significant for a lot of social science work:
    “We last encountered Christakis-Fowler last April, when Dave Johns reported on some criticisms coming from economists Jason Fletcher and Ethan Cohen-Cole and mathematician Russell Lyons.
    Lyons

    Reply

  2. Dan Kervick says:

    “So if you’re “this reader” why are you even saying anything to me?”
    Because I’m sick of the way you have turned this site into a garbage dump for your mental refuse. I’ll go back to lurking now, which is mainly what I have done for the past couple of months.

    Reply

  3. questions says:

    Hey, let’s cut Medicaid!
    “For instance,

    Reply

  4. questions says:

    Good lord! For the nth time, it was not a random reference.
    It was an example to clarify a point in a text. It was an example I quite deliberately drew from the experiences of people who would be reading at a computer because it would make instant sense.
    I quite deliberately did not draw an example from Hume because I assumed that other people, who don’t know Hume, might be reading my post.
    So I took a real-world example that would make a fair amount of sense to people, and I used that instead of quoting from a text.
    Nothing at all random here. And I have no idea at all, or even an original impression, of how you could possibly be so thrown by a simple, obvious real world example of the distinction between impressions and ideas. I mean, seriously, how could you not “get it”? Why do you keep insisting it’s “random” when I keep telling you it’s deliberate, an example, and chosen specifically to relate to people who are typing at their computers.
    If you want to say it’s a bad example, or it doesn’t the least bit speak to the impression/idea distinction, well, do that. But don’t dismiss it as “random” because you didn’t catch on at first. Or because you have some predisposition to assuming I’m an idiot. Even idiots probably make sense once in a while.
    And one last time, the stuff I post here is policy related and it’s a policy blog.
    Hume, aside from the relationship I drew above, is not so policy-oriented, though perhaps interesting and useful things could be done with his concepts.
    In trying to show me something about how you have interests you don’t post here, you yourself commit the “crime” you accuse me of.
    I read vast amounts of material, and most of it doesn’t get posted here.
    A small portion of policy-relevant material does.
    Not random, not non-policy, not indefensible, not obnoxious, not crap. And indeed you’re starting to pop up as a commenter on some of these sites at this point. Clearly you did not learn about them from my posts, because you don’t read what I write. I wish you had linked more often in the past to Thoma et al because I’m happy to have discovered them, and I wish I had been reading them for longer. Feel free to share the interesting policy stuff you come by. The internet is a big place and it’s nice to find links to all sorts of things.
    Likely, you already knew aplainblog and Thoma and DeLong and Yves Smith and econbrowser and bonddad and themonkeycage and rortybomb…. Wish you had shared them.
    Policy thinking, policy analysis, policy links. Economic policy. Education policy. Congress and the policy process. IR policy. American politics more generally.
    So if you still can’t cope, and you can’t understand a thing I write, stop reading it, but since you already say you don’t read anything I ever write, I’m not sure why you’re bothering to respond to what you clearly don’t read. Or something.
    **********************************
    Just to remind you:
    Posted by Dan Kervick, Jun 09 2011, 10:58AM – Link
    “Does any reader take the time to read the yards of stuff that questions pastes onto this blog?”
    Not this reader.
    ***************************
    So if you’re “this reader” why are you even saying anything to me? You don’t actually ever take the time to read the yards of stuff….. So you’re engaging in blind and dumb criticism (Hume has this concept, by the way, somewhere in the Enquiry, as I recall. Eco uses this phrase.)
    Again, if I’m causing you such profound suffering, well, let the proprietor know. He’s quite capable of letting people know when he’s pretty sure they’ve crossed a line, and clearly his lines are in different places from those of many posters here. I will defer to the proprietor, not to a random poster, and not to three or four random posters who swear they never read anything I write anyway. What kind of criticism of a thing is it if you never read the thing you’re criticizing?

    Reply

  5. Dan Kervick says:

    “You tell me I’m posting such random stuff you can’t even begin to follow it, and that’s not a dig?”
    It was a dig at *you* and your posting style. There was no dig about “typing.” *You* are the one who brought up typing in one of your random references. And then you later you said I made a “dig regarding typing.” But I did no such thing. I actually went back and did a search of the thread to make sure, because I was confused by your comment and thought maybe I had forgotten something. But I could find no dig regarding typing.
    And now you suggest that because *I* made a dig about your posting habits while *you* were blathering on about typing, I am somehow being disingenuous in failing understand your claim that I made a dig about typing.
    And that kind of carelessness and illogic and laziness and free-associative self-absorption are typical in almost all your writing.
    Hume himself, by the way, is not at all random and incomprehensible. The point of my satirical “dig” was that the fact that something happens to be important to me – like the writings of David Hume – and happens to be one of the currents of thought presently moving through my own mind, is no excuse for using whatever forum I happen to be involved in to disgorge all of the sloppy contents of my free-ranging brain into any open public space I can find, with no effort made to organize that thinking for the benefit of others.
    But I am not going to talk about David Hume anymore, because I don’t want to drag poor old Hume down into the Washington Note.

    Reply

  6. questions says:

    Back to my own personal regularly scheduled programming. I have separated topic changes so that they don’t confuse people as it can be very difficult to tell what’s what.
    Apparently, you can scroll in 1.5 seconds or so if the content is too confusing, if the topics are too subjective and uninteresting and not worth following up on as they have nothing to do with policy whatsoever. Ready, set, scrollllll!
    Nakedcapitalism links to a Guardian piece on pill mills, pharmageddon, pillbillies, and oxycodone’s easy availability in Florida under Gov Rick Scott. Pretty sad story I’ve ignored til now.
    TOPIC CHANGE
    Thoma pastes in a Krugman piece on interest group pressure and the rentiers. He misses out on the elections, the US lean towards Republicans all too frequently. This lean isn’t from interest group pressure. The Republican governors won the midterms fair and square and they are part of a massive backlash against a moment of punctuated equilibrium (my new fave phrase.) The system was overwhelmed by too much hopey changey stuff, and so we voted in a bunch of retrograde unpolicy people who are returning the country to its oligarchic roots.
    We’ll burn out on this one eventually, and we’ll make some room somehow for income support. We already are not tolerating the cuts in bennies to the old people. But we’re so full of social resentment for other groups that we’re happy to tolerate cuts for them.
    mini-topic-change
    Perhaps the state courts will save us via MERS cases. (see Yves Smith for more.)
    TOPIC CHANGE
    Joe the Man Lieberman has a mildly laughable independent middle ground kind of piece up at the WaPo op ed. We can impose more cost sharing on Medicare patients, raise the eligibility age in tandem with the retirement age so that early retirees can’t get Medicare for 2-5 years…. That’s good. And we can do more co-pay stuff so that low income Medicare patients will seek fewer services and so will cost less! A truly great idea if the goal is to keep people from seeking needed care in order to save money!
    TOPIC CHANGE (and mini snark)
    And, gosh, even Mark Thoma, a far smarter man than I, has the lollipop line! More on Geithner…. over there.
    Thoma also has up a really nuanced look at Geithner from Tim Duy, and the issues he’s pretty sure Geithner is thinking through. Nothing is quite so demonizable after you read this piece. The issues are complex, the trade offs are awful, and the uncertainty of the future makes sound policy all guesswork. Link:
    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2011/06/fed-watch-more-on-geithner-deficit-reduction-and-expenditure-switching.html
    mini topic change, with arcane reference:
    From another Thoma-pasted piece:
    “We mistake the model for truth itself.” This is an old critique of Kuhn. Some things never change.
    TOPIC CHANGE
    Thoma links to Eichengreen who thinks the weak dollar to beef up exports is a good idea, not overly inflationary, and Congress needs to deal with the debt ceiling and the budget and we need to be a less consumption oriented economy which people are calling a structural change that will require structural unemployment.
    Final apology to those for whom this post is too long, too confusing, contains too many topics, is boring, boorish, bad dinner party conversation, and the like.
    Gosh, sorry. Gee.
    ***********
    ***********
    TOPIC CHANGE OF A MAJOR SORT:
    Dan, because of these:
    Posted by Dan Kervick, Jun 09 2011, 4:51PM – Link
    “Try to remember how the keyboard felt, say 27 days ago…. Can’t really do it unless you touch the keyboard again right now.”
    What in the world are you talking about, questions? Your writing is so random. I can never tell what you are up to or what you are saying.
    ********************
    Posted by Dan Kervick, Jun 09 2011, 7:36PM – Link
    “So, yeah, touching the keyboard, while you touch is, is an original impression, a pressing on your skin which enlivens nerves.”
    Yes, but what does this have to do with anything? It was a joke. If I posted an aspirin label would you free-associate an essay on the phenomenology of ant-inflammatories?
    ***********
    You tell me I’m posting such random stuff you can’t even begin to follow it, and that’s not a dig?
    You then ask me “what does this have to do with anything” and that’s also not a dig?
    It was completely obvious that I was giving an example of what Hume means when he makes the impressions/ideas distinction. Really obvious. Your pretense of incomprehension is a dig. At me. I got a little irritated. Especially in the context of your pasting in all that Hume which for you is indeed random and incomprehensible as a dig at me for my random and incomprehensible ways.
    So, really, you work to dig at me, I point it out and you feign innocence at the dig.
    It’s a neat rhetorical technique.
    And all of this in a context of your insisting that you don’t bother reading what I post, for which you have by the way helped create a community of the like-minded! Gosh, you, …, DonB, and Paul all manage to say things about my posts without ever, apparently, actually reading them! Amazing. Missing shade of blue all over again.
    (explanation of reference — The missing shade of blue comes up in Hume’s Enquiry, and the basic question is, for an empiricist, can there be any idea of something that does not have an original impression. The one case Hume can think of is a shade of blue that you’ve never seen before but that stands in an even color gradation against other colors. Without ever having seen this shade of blue, you can still picture it.
    (So, without ever having read any of my posts, and if you have accidentally read something, you certainly could not understand even a word of it, you all know how awful, confusing, off topic, subjective, incomprehensible, unpolicy-esque, random, confusing, and boorish they all are!
    (But of course, Dan, you already know all of this which is why your choice of text was so canny and cunning!)
    ******
    *********
    ***********
    DBK,
    Many thanks for the kind words, twice now, actually. Hume’s reputation for kindness has occurred to me in an ironic sort of way, but I left that out! Thanks!
    There’s been a long history of this sort of thing here, so though I get miffed, I’m also used to it at some level. I’ve been posting here for several years now, I guess it is. Amazing.
    Not sure how nice Rousseau was, though. The kids raised in the foundling home really gets to me when I think about it too much.

    Reply

  7. DakotabornKansan says:

    David Hume

    Reply

  8. Dan Kervick says:

    ” “Typing” is also meant simply as an illustration.”
    Fine. So why did you say I made a “dig” about typing?

    Reply

  9. rc says:

    Excuse my cloud of confusion … the difference here is? … only semantic (or is it Semitic?)
    UNITED NATIONS

    Reply

  10. rc says:

    Excuse my cloud of confusion … the difference here is? … only semantic (or is it Semitic?)
    UNITED NATIONS

    Reply

  11. questions says:

    Dan K,
    Non-meta. My reference to “27 days” is an illustration of a point in Hume. No, the “27” does not refer to any particular thing you have written.
    It’s an illustration of a point in Hume.
    And as an illustration of a point in Hume, it works perfectly fine. It is indeed outside the narrow circle of Hume’s text and your text. I could have just used a quotation about the locket or the religious iconography, but instead chose an illustration of the point that would make a great deal of sense to people at computer keyboards.
    The number “27” is not a mystical incantatory statement about anything. I suppose I could have said 26, or 76, or any of a number of other numbers. “1” might not have worked as well because our Humean idea of 1 day ago might still be pretty fresh.
    “Typing” is also meant simply as an illustration.
    And as an illustration of a point in Hume about original impressions and ideas, it works perfectly well, and makes instant sense to people sitting at computers. Funny, that. Gosh, you mean, you can use something outside a text to illustrate a point inside a text? Who’da thunk?
    “27” and “typing” are illustrations of a point in Hume about original impressions and ideas. The illustrations themselves are, you know good and well, trivial issues. The main issue, as you know, is the distinction between original impressions and ideas. Gosh, analytic philosophy should provide training in this kind of distinction-making. That’s what it does best. There’s a trivial example, and a major point.
    The technique of going after a very trivial portion of a text rather than the broader point is a technique indeed.
    So please continue your mystification over the point of the number “27” and the image of “typing” and leave out the whole distinction between original impressions and ideas. For it is this latter point that is the point of my post! Why bother with that when there’s this bizarre “27” and truly odd “typing” floating around.
    Meta:
    Paul, really, if you and DonBacon cannot stand my “notebooks to myself” then, really, write to the proprietor. (Wow, that really is a child’s tantrum right there!)
    And please note that if they really were “notebooks to myself” I wouldn’t bother. They are very much compendia of a lot of important policy issues, and they are certainly in keeping with lists of links that huge numbers of bloggers maintain on a daily basis.
    I don’t at all “get” the boundaries you want to set for the blog. Seems to me it’s basically “if it interests Paul, it’s within bounds” or “if it interests DonB, it’s within bounds” but if it doesn’t, then it must go. And if it doesn’t interest Paul and DonB, and it’s long, it most especially must go. And if it bugs DanK because it has an illustration of a point in a text that DanK posted solely to parody questions, well, then, it’s frustrating to DanK and it must go.
    Ummm, pretty subjective judging here…..
    There is nothing all that bizarre about linking and commenting on a wide range of policy topics on a policy blog. And if the site allowed multiple links in a single post, I’d post fewer individual posts and would shove more into a single post so that your scroll wheel or pad or little button would cope just a little better.
    Note how much silly stuff now has to be scrolled through on this silly thread. By the way, “end” gets you to the bottom more quickly. Split second regardless of whether or not someone decides to paste in Hume’s entire multi-volume History of England.
    end meta.
    On topic…..
    There is plenty of room on the internet for a lot of stuff. As far as infrastructure goes, we have a lot of server space.

    Reply

  12. ... says:

    OT – i find some parallels with questions and poa’s commentary… they are probably the 2 most prolific posters here… however poa almost always has an axe to grind whether with steve, other posters, or some issue he thinks isn’t being covered, while questions seems essentially pointless…
    don bacon’s question “Does any reader take the time to read the yards of stuff that questions pastes onto this blog?” – me, never…

    Reply

  13. Dan Kervick says:

    questions, I’m still trying to figure out if the reference to 27 days ago is supposed to mean something? Or was that just totally random? And the reference to the dig I supposedly made about typing? I just searched through this thread and can’t find any references by me to typing.
    So can you understand my confusion? And this is sort of typical. You don’t seem to make any effort to write in a way which can be readily grasped by other people who aren’t tripping out on whatever idiosyncratic, imaginative plane you happen to be inhabiting at the moment. It’s all your own personal stream-of-consciousness stuff – paragraph after paragraph after paragraph of it. It’s like you can’t keep track of what stuff you’ve only been talking to yourself about and what stuff other people have been talking about.

    Reply

  14. Paul Norheim says:

    “You seem to self-appoint yourself to office here” (POA)
    “you are a self-proclaimed arbiter of acceptable topics” (Questions)
    ———————————–
    Ah, so now all this fuss is suddenly about Paul Norheim?
    What about the rest of those who have expressed similar frustrations regarding Questions’ monologues
    during the last months? What about DonBacon, who even stopped posting here for a while for that precise
    reason, or DanK, who responded satirically with the longest comment ever pasted on this blog, etc…?

    Reply

  15. Paul Norheim says:

    Questions,
    it’s just that especially during the last six months or so, you’ve chosen to use this blog as your personal notebook, sort of
    a private monologue to remind yourself of stuff you yourself at the moment think is important. Several people have
    complained about this. Among them regular poster DonBacon (who’s been absent for a while for that reason); Dan Kervick,
    and I, but also many others. That’s how this “meta” stuff inevitably pops up from time to time.
    I think the frustration among some of us has less to do with On-Topic/Off-Topic issues as such: Occasionally interesting
    discussions evolve via the topic at hand or despite the topic at hand (just like at dinner parties) – but these lively dialogues
    are frequently (often almost on an hourly basis) interrupted by your long monologues. Or – another example: Someone
    writes a really good on-topic comment, and the readers and commenters have to scroll through five rambling “questions”
    posts about whatever to discover it. And this is often frustrating. So as a result we make a request:
    “Perhaps you could treat this blog less as your private notebook – regardless of the topics you fill it with? Please?”
    But no. You react like a stubborn child, screaming “Don’t take my notebook away from me!”
    I rest my case for now. But that doesn’t mean that the frustration will go away among many of the commenters here.

    Reply

  16. questions says:

    Paul,
    At the dinner parties I go to, I talk about all sorts of things (even Hume!) with all sorts of people (who don’t call me a drunkard), and you know something funny, no one carps at me, and the topics stray all over the place. Without any alcohol even. Isn’t it funny how people can handle a wide variety of topics, and if you’re not interested in the conversation in the front entrance, you can amble over to the patio, or to the kitchen or upstairs or into the front yard….
    So many people, so many topics, so much interesting stuff in the universe!
    It’s amazing!
    And you know, you’re accusing me of boorish behavior, and the way to handle that is to go quietly to the host and say, “Hey, that questions is really boorish. The topics are too many, the posts are too many, and they are too long and violate the Herman Cain Dinner Party Policy, and it’s all such nonsense, and who cares what economists or social scientists are saying about economics or social science! And who cares about American education policy which has nothing to do with economics or international relations, and geeze, that game theory and all the other nonsense… My goodness, and the stuff on Congress?! Who cares what scholarship on Congress says about how Congress works! This is a policy blog, not a, ummm, blog that deals with topics that Congress has to be involved in…. There is no need to know anything about the American political process in order to move things through the, umm, American political process! Maybe you should disinvite your boorish guest.”
    But the boorish guest is not engaging in self-disinvitation. The boorish guest is a little too clueless for that. So the boorish guest will wait for the very kind host to say a kind and gentle “Shoo!.”
    Also, your “hear” doesn’t work as a metaphor in the online world. I’m not stopping anyone from “hearing” anything. Blog space is a non-rival good. My use doesn’t preclude yours at all. And indeed, it’s only an excludable good should the proprietor wish to exclude me.
    I scroll past things I’m not interested in, and it doesn’t cause me problems. Indeed, I will scroll past the very long Hume paste at this point!
    Again, feel free to e-mail our very kind dinner host and let him know that your enjoyment of this amazing space has been utterly polluted by an overeager type-y guest, and you figure something ought to be done….. maybe he can make a special questions rule — I’m only allowed to post midway down the front page! And then you’d never see my posts again! There’s a happyland!
    I think we’ve likely put in our quota of meta, and it’s getting a little silly to keep going on at the meta level like this. It’s not uncommon on blogs for the posts to become the topic fo the posts. And to take up your metaphor of the dinner party, indeed I’ve never been to a dinner party where any of the guests actually said to another guest “You talk too much.” But the online world is different that way.
    At a real dinner party, you’d just leave me alone to my corner and you’d breeze past me in the hall.
    Please, then, do that. It’s far more polite than telling me I’m a drunken idiot prating on about lollipops or whatever it is…. (Are you referring to the sugar comment about the stimulus? That was not my comment, that was part of our current economic debate. And in fact, it’s a huge and current problem we’re facing about how to get out of a wicked and heartless recession.)
    Clearly, you are a self-proclaimed arbiter of acceptable topics. And clearly, you’ve decided that meta is an acceptable topic, and that warning posters is an acceptable topic. And parodying posters is an acceptable topic. And suggesting alcoholism is as well. So go do meta, and keep doing your warnings! They are interesting, topical, policy-aware, fascinating, full of insight, surprising, and they link to some of the most interesting policy debates out there! Does questions post too much, and are the posts destructive of the English language? Gosh and golly, we could do a whole INET conference devoted to the issue!
    Me, I’m trying to stick to policy, except for the occasional defense of my posts when the carping gets to be more than I feel like ignoring.
    So, really, write to the proprietor if you feel the inner compulsion. Or just put in your occasional digs at my drinking habits, my sugar habits, and my general foolishness and sociopathy.
    Or, just scroll past me.
    Or, outdo me. Get the DeLong stuff in first. Do it better, faster, stronger. It’s relevant to American policy, and it’s a policy blog. Except when it’s a self-referential meta blog.

    Reply

  17. Paul Norheim says:

    Ummm…phenomenology?
    “Anyway, whenever ‘ol Dee would finish a task or chore, or solve a problem, he’d mumble out loud “It doesn’t take me
    all day to look at a horseshoe”. It didn’t, either. I once watched him, over a period of about three weeks time, show
    Johnny Rivers the exact same buckskin gelding, groomed different, three separate times, upping the price each time.
    Rivers, convinced each time that it was a different horse, ended up buying the horse for $2500, when the same horse
    was originally offered to him for $500.” (POA)
    http://www.thewashingtonnote.com/archives/2008/09/streaming_live_22/

    Reply

  18. Paul Norheim says:

    Today’s Quiz.
    Who said:
    “Hume…Ummm…”?
    And who said:
    Ummm…Hume…”?

    Reply

  19. questions says:

    Ummm, not phenomenology, Hume. You pasted in a chunk of Hume as a dig at me, and rather than be irritated by it, I decided to use it to explain an interesting social phenomenon — the constant hyping of anxiety by Fox News. And indeed, Hume’s work on impressions and ideas does actually seem fairly descriptive of how Fox News works with its constant hyping of things we’d otherwise stop thinking about pretty quickly. And it likely gets at why big things like war and nuclear “melt throughs” are left by the wayside after a short bit. We’d rather not be reminded…..
    So, no, not free-associating, and I’m not sure what your joke was, the whole Hume post, or your dig regarding typing. “Joke” is not the term of preference here.
    The point about typing is simply a simple way to explain why I think Hume is actually a nice selection to read. And should anyone besides you bother to read this, I assume it’s a good idea to have a quick illustration of the point. I’ve read Hume. Perhaps you’ve read Hume. But I don’t know how many other people around here have read Hume. So, again, not “free-associating” because of a “joke” that isn’t a joke. Really just illustrating in a quick way a point about a text.
    But I’m not into the blog rage scene, so I’m taking your posting in the best light, under the false assumption that you actually pasted in all that Hume because you thought it was worthy of attention, not because you’re just into Hume somehow.
    When I do my long-meandering-rambling-about-what-I’m-reading-this-morning posts, nearly everything I put in is policy related, most especially economic and education and IR policy, along with some stuff about how Congress works and interesting social science research that clarifies a wide range of issues.
    I’m not just hangin’ out in my own little world doin’ my own little thing. I actually do think the material I put in is worth noting for anyone doing policy work. I assume that anyone who bothers reading my stuff here is interested in policy, more so perhaps than in long passages pasted in from the online collected works of David Hume.
    That you never read a word I write, which is completely clear from this interchange we’re not having, is fine. You can scroll right past, ignore everything I post and on your own check out rortybomb and Thoma and nakedcapitalism and the like. And you can keep what you note to yourself as a merely private experience that is irrelevant to the policy world. Indeed you do read some of those sites, and possibly regularly. So join in the commenting, or link on your own….
    There are a vast number of really smart people out there doing interesting work, and snarking at me for tossing the material in here is, well, what it is, I guess.
    So when you see “questions”, roll your eyes privately, and scroll away. Or, really, contact the proprietor and let him know you’re pretty sure I’m damaging his reputation or ruining his blog or whatever. He will deal with me in short order as he sees fit.
    Paste in some Hegel at your own risk. I’m not unfamiliar……

    Reply

  20. Paul Norheim says:

    OK, so we’re all invited to a great dinner party, and the topics
    discussed and the actual discussion are at times very
    interesting – except for the regrettable fact that I get very
    drunk and talk way too much about whatever pops up in my
    head – most of it not related to the discussion around me. Half
    a dozen guests complain to me repeatedly and ask me, more
    or less politely, to talk less once in a while, so that we can hear
    better the discussion among the others – to which I reply:
    ” Well, there is a simple grievance procedure in place for such
    occasions. Please send a formal complain to the host, and if he
    suggests that I should talk less, than less will I talk. And until
    then, let me remind you of The First Amendment and the fact
    that you can put a finger in your left ear to help you ignore my
    rambling and hear more clearly what they’re talking about to
    the right of you…but hey, you’re interrupting me now while I
    was talking about Arne Duncan… or was it congressional
    hearings?…Socrates?… lollipops?… energy resources?… yeah,
    resources! Human resources! A very important subject…the
    hidden resources in human beings, children, grandmothers,
    animals….just like Kant said….you should read up on him….or
    not…umm…better not, perhaps….that’s a huge dilemma…huge,
    huge dilemma…ummm, or not….”
    That kind of behavior would be considered ridiculous and
    stubborn in any social context in real life, be it an informal
    dinner or an arranged, more formal discussion forum where
    everyone is encouraged to participate. The unwritten rules are
    admittedly more unclear and easier to abuse on online blogs –
    perhaps especially when most of the participants are
    anonymous. But basically I see no difference between what
    could be considered reasonable conduct online and what is
    already considered appropriate behavior offline in the above
    mentioned examples.
    Or not. Ummm…that’s another huge dilemma,
    umm…perhaps…a lesson for Arne
    Duncan…Hume…Ummm…Just a thought…Weiner…striking
    parallels in game theory…lollipop…

    Reply

  21. Dan Kervick says:

    “So, yeah, touching the keyboard, while you touch is, is an original impression, a pressing on your skin which enlivens nerves.”
    Yes, but what does this have to do with anything? It was a joke. If I posted an aspirin label would you free-associate an essay on the phenomenology of ant-inflammatories?

    Reply

  22. questions says:

    Payroll tax cut being mulled over on the employer side.
    Thoma:
    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2011/06/the-unemployment-crisis-continues.html
    People seem somewhere between unhappy about supply side rather than demand side support, and downright dismissive.
    This is great politics, though, as it will help all those Republican small business anti-tax types who hate SoSec and are convinced that the gov’t is the reason they can’t hire.
    I get the feeling that the money won’t get spent in useful ways, which is what makes me wonder if we can’t do a deal the way we do with foreign aid.
    We give other countries credit to buy American stuff.
    Could we give Americans credit to buy American stuff?
    Is there some way to structure a deal that would move some consumption forward a bit, and get us to circulate some money?
    ATM cards, or debit cards, or gift cards, or prebates or something?
    We occasionally send out checks for the gov’t, we have done the payroll tax cut for workers. But maybe we need something that gets us shopping for a while.
    Are there ways to set up a range of project-related credits for small businesses and individuals?
    If people have to put a little skin in the game, they’ll do stuff that’s more valuable to them, and if the projects are designed to require some hiring or shopping, then that would be good too.
    Nothing massive like lead abatement, but home spruce ups, community spruce ups, store front rehabs, landscaping, summer play school/camp programs, afterschool services, home health help…..
    There are a lot of things we could conceivably encourage one another to do that might require some planning (and therefore planners), some labor (and therefore laborers), some mild infrastructure stuff at the micro level.
    And maybe this is a way to deal with the infrastructure dilemmas we keep running into. If infrastructure is at the individual rather than at the collective level, the incentives change.
    No one cares too much about a bridge someone else drives on, but you do care about your own house, your own neighborhood, and the conditions of what you drive by or use every day.
    Getting Republicans to see the pork opportunities in community rehab programs, with special help for the toniest districts, might be a way to increase support.
    And anything that hires anyone is better than hiring no one at all.
    There have to be places to install fountains and water sculptures, to put in benches, to put in canopies and picnic grounds, street lights, and programs at the local library. And there are plenty of homeowners who could do something on their homes with the right set of credits.

    Reply

  23. questions says:

    Dan,
    Have you read the Hume you posted? An original impression is a sensory experience at the moment you’re having it, and as soon as the immediacy of the experience is over, all you have left is the “idea” or memory of the original impression.
    So, yeah, touching the keyboard, while you touch is, is an original impression, a pressing on your skin which enlivens nerves…. And after that passes, all you have are the ideas or copies of the experiences.
    And as time goes by, the idea gets more and more faint til it fades away. So you know something happening while its happening, as once it’s relegated to memory, it gets more and more faint until it’s pretty much gone. Typing right now is vivid. Having typed 27 days ago is not so vivid, and in fact you might be pretty sure you did type 27 days ago because you type every day, but you probably don’t remember what you typed 27 days ago, or how the keys felt, or how your hands felt, or what you were thinking about.
    I think this is pretty much Hume 101. I think. But I don’t remember!
    Hume has a whole section on pictures in a locket, isn’t it, and religious icons — all designed to get us to remember the original impressions. At least, I seem to remember this stuff from the book.
    And so rather than talk about pictures in lockets (like, who does that anymore), and rather than get into his whole anti religion thing, which did seem to be beside the point, I figured I’d use an example that fits with what people who are reading this post are actually doing — typing on their keyboards.
    So, no, typing isn’t directly in the Hume text, but it’s certainly a reasonable example of what Hume is talking about.
    I suppose one could simply never relate any text to any other, never extend arguments, use metaphors, say something is like something else, or that the lessons one draws in one domain pertain to another domain, but I don’t limit my thinking that way.
    Is this clearer?
    I could go back into the Hume and copy/paste all the relevant passages about impressions and ideas and time and the fading of memory and how we are a little lost because of our empiricism. And the locket part and the icon part, and the difficulties we get into by demanding a kind of certainty in our beliefs that our actual experience can’t support. The epistemic limit stuff is all really really interesting.
    But I just assumed you already knew all of this since you’re in the field and you were able to find and paste in a whole big chunk of the Enquiry. I perhaps wrongly assumed you had read what you pasted.
    I do read what I paste in, and I generally comment on it unless it seems more forceful to let it stand on its own. My posts end up longer, and I do more posts when I want the links in because of the 2 link limit to posts here. Should that ever go away, I could get by with a lot fewer posts, each with more links.
    At any rate, is the Hume/typing thang more clearer?

    Reply

  24. Dan Kervick says:

    “Try to remember how the keyboard felt, say 27 days ago…. Can’t really do it unless you touch the keyboard again right now.”
    What in the world are you talking about, questions? Your writing is so random. I can never tell what you are up to or what you are saying.

    Reply

  25. questions says:

    Education IS infrastructure:
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chibrknews-report-preschool-pays-off-into-adulthood-20110609,0,7186438.story?track=rss
    Every kid who does better because of these programs becomes a better parent.
    It gets better.

    Reply

  26. questions says:

    Dan! Wow! Thanks for the memories! Hume’s Enquiry is a great book!
    Let me think…. Oh yeah, missing shade of blue, constant conjunction of events, miracles are a violation of the laws of nature, ummmm, be still a man, consign it then to the flames for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion…. really great stuff! You should comment on it, instead of just pasting it in, but then, Hume really does speak for himself!
    Oh, yeah, and the relevant part for policy…. Hume argues that what we know best we know from our senses not from our reason. At the moment of the original impression, which is vivid, we know what’s going on. Touch your computer keyboard and feel how vivid the sensation is.
    Then move your hands back and try to recall the sensation. Harder to do.
    Once an original impression passes away into memory, it fades.
    Try to remember how the keyboard felt, say 27 days ago…. Can’t really do it unless you touch the keyboard again right now.
    Funny how memory is like that.
    Since we’re so forgetful, and all we have is the original impressions, or the faded copies that we carry in our sad memories, we are in many ways trapped in the present, and likely to forget all sorts of emotions.
    Here comes the relevant part — that was all background.
    Think back to Sept 11, 2001. Hard to keep all details in your mind about just how panicked you were. What the couch felt like, what the car radio sounded like, what your co-workers’ faces looked like as the news spread.
    Because it’s hard for us to keep the vivid original impression in mind, we have to be reminded constantly about our anxiety. Anxiety burns out without constancy of re-impression on our senses.
    So there’s Fox News’s role in the universe. The constant reminder that things are terrible, that doom is around the corner, that tax and spend democrats and 17% mortgages and 11% inflation will come back any time now…. The constant race baiting to remind us of “urban”. The constant panic.
    Note how muddled Sarah Palin is, and how it doesn’t matter because no one remembers what she says or how accurate what she says is. Rather, they get a constant reminder of her regularness, of how she sounds just like them. Feels good. Narcissistically so.
    It’s worth thinking, then, about the kinds of images that the right might use against government-funded infrastructure. What memories of failed government will they pull out to remind us of just how awful the public sphere is? And how much private sphere failure will be buried in the ash heap of history?
    So Fox is Hume come to life.
    Thanks for reminding me! I am so forgetful!

    Reply

  27. Dan Kervick says:

    Oh dear. Steve’s blog infrastructure seems to have imposed a length limit on my previous post. Sorry that the full text of Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding didn’t fit. I’ll post the rest later, along with everything I’m thinking today about everything I’m reading today.

    Reply

  28. DakotabornKansan says:

    Loose sallies of the mind

    Reply

  29. questions says:

    Meta.
    I’ve been staying away from the carping here, but I will say that if my posts are ever so burdensome to you, there is a very simple grievance procedure in place.
    E-mail the proprietor and ask that he post a simple request to me to avoid linking to, summarizing, and commenting on my daily policy blog and news reading. I will say, I read a lot of stuff every day, and I find it both enjoyable to link and point and helpful to my consolidation of the vast amount of stuff I read, online and off. If anyone has ever clicked on a link I’ve provided and followed through on a topic, well, that’s kind of nice too.
    If the issues are too trivial to be noted, if the links are never worth clicking on, if the summaries and comments are just too much, then perhaps you are a Herman Cain supporter in disguise!
    Cuz, gosh and golly, he thinks 3 pages is pretty much it for any piece of legislation.
    So I guess long blog posts about economic, education, energy, international relations, congressional (and whatever else I find) policy are just too much…..
    So talk to the proprietor. And if the proprietor suggest I should do less, than less will I do.
    And by the way, thanks POA. Your defense of open speech and scrolling as you like is appreciated.

    Reply

  30. Dan Kervick says:

    “Does any reader take the time to read the yards of stuff that questions pastes onto this blog?”
    Not this reader.

    Reply

  31. Paul Norheim says:

    Reading all that stuff probably requires twice the energy required to write it.

    Reply

  32. DonS says:

    I was just glad Questions didn’t throw in wind power, or I’d have to take more interest (matter of fact that’s why I scanned it); where we are right now (Nova Scotia), there’s a proposed wind farm virtually in our backyard (through a Spanish subsidiary of GE) to meet a provincial mandate. Not a good idea; check out this NYT article of relevance: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/08/opinion/08bryce.html?scp=1&sq=wind%20farm&st=Search
    So when it comes to infrastructure . . . let’s do it sensibly, environmentally sensitive (that pretty much excludes large corporate thinking)

    Reply

  33. DonS says:

    The crumbling US infrastructure/nation-building in Afghan and elsewhere.
    Though most of ‘nation-building’, as noted above, is for military, politicians often distort such things, when it is to their advantage.
    Both Dems and Reps are getting louder in their ‘questioning’ of the Afghan expenditure. Do they smell the blood of he electorate on their heels and are each feeling around for position? Is war fever no longer in fashion? Just when the administration is really getting cranked up — even escalating in Yemen [ http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/world/middleeast/09intel.html?hp ]
    But the public is venting their anger and frustration on those expensive wars [ http://www.americablog.com/2011/06/60-see-wars-as-large-part-of-deficit.html ]
    John Kerry, mister all-purpose Dem soldier guy, says we need a “cost benefit analysis” of the Afghan war. Now isn’t that brave and special?
    But the administration says we will not “abandon” the region like we did in the past or, catch this, the Taliban may come back. Like how f**king stupid do they think we really are?
    Thing is, we won’t “abandon” until we do “abandon” — on paper anyway (and whoever wins the PR battles). But the bucks will keeping bleeding out.
    Because it’s not just Afghan now is it? Though that’s a start. It’s the whole damn military/security rathole. Wouldn’t that be a fright to the establishment if some savvy pol could leverage citizen frustration and anger in that direction? But not to worry; it wont happen. Just a hiccup until the next ‘terror’ iteration.

    Reply

  34. Don Bacon says:

    Does any reader take the time to read the yards of stuff that questions pastes onto this blog? Just curious. Perhaps you might distill it for the rest of us.

    Reply

  35. questions says:

    Solar and when it’s competitive with gas:
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/05a4354a-91fe-11e0-b8c1-00144feab49a.html#axzz1OmiNOyFV
    (gated)
    During peak times of day in the sunny southwest and west, solar can compete with gas. But only when rates are at their peak. It’s cheaper than building new nuclear plants. But it’s still not as cheap as off peak gas generated electricity.
    Not universally workable. But something.
    Total is buying a huge chunk of SunPower. This might be a good sign.

    Reply

  36. Don Bacon says:

    America’s Infrastructure Deficit?
    Where’s the sense of priorities?
    Afghanistan Engineer District AED-South expects to award projects that total nearly $2 billion in fiscal year 2011 and projects estimated at $1.5 billion in fiscal 2012. The preponderance of this work is for Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In fiscal 2011, just over half the program value is for ANSF projects; in 2012, that percentage rises to two-thirds of the program value.
    http://www.aed.usace.army.mil/news/NR11-04-12.pdf
    There’s also a North engineer district, bit they aren’t quite as active.

    Reply

  37. questions says:

    The coalition of the undrilling:
    FT notes that Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Algeria, Angola and Libya are unwilling to raise production.
    Oil prices leapt. I would guess gas prices will be up this morning. Should have filled up yesterday with the car wash!
    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/2989e512-91b9-11e0-b4a3-00144feab49a.html#axzz1OmiNOyFV
    (gated)

    Reply

  38. questions says:

    As a side note, the sugar/antibiotic snipe between Geithner and Romer has gotten lots of press, and here’s the piece that put this out:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/geithner-finds-his-footing/2011/05/24/AGY0CSLH_print.html
    Krugman links to it….
    But what about this part:
    “Buoyed by his successes, Geithner felt ready to fire the administration

    Reply

  39. questions says:

    This version of infrastructure is mildly maddening:
    http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2011/06/seven_problems_a_recovery_wont.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness%2Fhaque+%28Umair+Haque+on+HBR.org%29
    h/t Thoma.
    I think I worry when someone in the elite end of the universe (blogging at Hahvahd Business Review is pretty elite…) carps at the unfulfilling lives of the not so elite….
    A few of his points make sense. Indeed “recovery” won’t fix a range of problems. But then he gets all soft and squishy and worries about whether or not we all have a chance to transform the universe in our image, and he worries that people like lowbrow entertainment and are too dumb to like highbrow entertainment.
    I have a lot of issues with education and choice and giving people the mental stuff that allows them to set up good lives. BUT, I don’t demand that everyone respond by putting down Dr. Dre’s Beats and picking up Bose instead.
    Plenty of people want work that doesn’t come home with them. Plenty of people have skill sets that make them ideal at jobs that other people couldn’t stand. AND plenty of people have seemingly fulfilling jobs they can’t stand. (Look at that UIC sociologist, for example, or look at any primary care physician who is royally sick of treating high blood pressure and writing scripts for viagra. And geeze, Anthony Weiner has one of the best jobs in the universe, and yet he needs his Twitter relations to feel good. And yet, how many people want to be professors, doctors, or members of Congress?)
    So when this guy says that somewhere between 50 and 75% of us are “disengaged” I would want to be far more careful about what “disengagement” means. Demanding that others engage the way that you engage is problematic. People find meaning in the world in a lot of very different ways, and sometimes meaning comes not from the job itself but from the human contact or avoidance of contact in the job. And sometimes it comes from what the job lets you purchase outside of the job. And sometimes it comes from just getting a paycheck for work done. And sometimes it comes from church or political activity completely outside the job. And sometimes it comes from the emotions that lowbrow or highbrow entertainment elicits. None of these is any more or less legit than the others. A lot of things in any job are boring, and a lot of things in any job are fine, too.
    A far better way to deal with stress might be some very simple income redistribution, transit and child care help, and sick leave. Much of the stress of low income life comes simply from the fact that there is no slack should anything at all out of the ordinary arise. A sick kid, a flat tire, a late bus and you lose your job. THAT is an issue. I don’t think that people who suffer as they redesign deodorant bottles are what we should be worrying about.
    *******
    And, I feel like I posted something like this a while ago, less specific, but same basic idea….
    “The other place to look for infrastructure funding is the $1 trillion of profits U.S. corporations are storing overseas. American companies are lobbying Congress to repatriate profits earned in overseas subsidiaries at tax rates as low as 5%. Perhaps Congress could legislate a compromise and tax half of returning profits at 0% if corporations loaned the other half of profits to a national infrastructure bank for a term of 10 years and at an annual interest rate of 5%.”
    http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2011/06/08/jobs-offshore-profits-and-infrastructure/
    h/t Thoma

    Reply

  40. DakotabornKansan says:

    “There ought to be behind the door of every happy, contented man some one standing with a hammer continually reminding him with a tap that there are unhappy people; that however happy he may be, life will show him her laws sooner or later, trouble will come for him – disease, poverty, losses, and no one will see or hear, just as now he neither sees nor hears others.” – Anton Chekhov

    Reply

  41. questions says:

    h/t Yves Smith/nakedcapitalism:
    http://www.mybudget360.com/destruction-middle-class-will-not-be-televised-56-percent-of-american-workers-have-less-than-25000-saved-middle-class-savings-gone-social-security-funds/
    As she says, great charts showing savings, debt, the stuff we bought with debt, the fact that:
    “This is simply unsustainable and we reached the apex reflected in our earlier chart where household debt equaled GDP at a near perfect one ratio. We were going into debt for every ounce of GDP we produced. ”
    (I do not know how significant this fact is, but it certainly sounds interesting given our need to deleverage households at this point.)
    The savings rate the site shows leaves out primary home home equity and defined benefit plans and so, again, I’m not sure if this is the best set of numbers to use. (But then, who has defined benefit plans any more….)
    We apparently don’t save a lot of money. We are going to be more and more dependent on some combination of SoSec and our offspring for support. Not so good.
    Could infrastructure include individual savings? Is there a way to store wealth, kinda like storing electricity in batteries or whatever, that could be developed? Could an infrastructure bank be a place for small deposits as well? So people end up investing in their own communities? With a decent return of interest and a more built local economy? Not sure incentives all line up for this kind of thing in a mobile population, but maybe…..
    ****
    WaPo reports that:
    “A large majority of Americans say the U.S. economy would probably suffer serious harm if Congress fails to give the federal government more borrowing authority. But barely half support raising the government

    Reply

  42. DakotabornKansan says:

    Modern-day Cassandras have been sounding alarms about the risks of nuclear power for years, and those warnings, like Cassandra’s, have fallen on deaf ears.
    The NRC

    Reply

  43. Warren Metzler says:

    POA, I use perplexed to express difficulty understanding how a person could have such an opinion, given that I experience that opinion as irrational. I do not use perplexed as a euphemism for discomfort.
    I wouldn’t assume that two dogs can be friends, if authentic friendship is two humans experiencing repeated intimacy (richness and fullness), love (deeply valuing others), and mutual empowerment; because all that requires a level of consciousness not present in any animal. But I would express that those two dogs of yours enjoy each other’s company.
    Dan, I am not presenting that there are no government jobs where authentic fulfillment (a spontaneous internal sense of full satisfaction when reflecting on the results one produces in one’s work tasks) occurs. But I would be willing to present that it is only jobs where the government is facilitating citizens being able to fulfill their personal capacities. And willing to insist it cannot be there when the government job is to do some activity that is not facilitating citizens fulfilling their personal capacities: such as being on a hit squad, or being a congressperson’s liaison for major campaign contributors, or running the local welfare office.
    I totally object to your idea that work fulfillment is a luxury. Fulfillment in everything; done alone, work, social, and religious activities; is available to all who sufficiently pursue such goals. And if you lack the will to pursue work fulfillment, you WILL NOT find a single moment of real enjoyment in anything you do while not working. It is misinformed to claim that you can’t be poor and find fulfilling work. The vast majority of rich and highly educated people experience little to no authentic fulfillment while working, or while playing, or while spending social time with others.

    Reply

  44. Dan Kervick says:

    The government is an organized group of people, just like a company. I see no reason to think that governments are any more or less able to employ people productively than are private companies. Nor is there any reason to think that government jobs are any more or less fulfilling than private sector work.
    Some people are fortunate in having jobs they find fulfilling. But fulfillment is a luxury that the vast majority of working people do not receive from their jobs. Most people work to acquire income that they can then use to do the things outside of their workplaces that they really enjoy or care about.

    Reply

  45. Warren Metzler says:

    I am quite perplexed by some of the comments on this issue. Do people find out what is work, and that work can be fulfilling (one feels fully satisfied with the outcomes of most of the work tasks one does)? Do they know that if you work and are unfulfilled, you will become more and more miserable the longer this is true, regardless of how much money you make, how powerful you are, or how famous you are? Do they know that work fulfillment comes from being productive, skilled, creative and contributing to one’s clients (customers who purchase the company’s products; or other people in the company when your job is to facilitate them, such as being in the personnel department, accounting, etc.)? Do they, to the degree they apply effort to ensure people have work, ensure that work is fulfilling, instead of only pays enough and has good “benefits”.
    Do they believe the government can take an action, or actions, and cause fulfilling work to come into existence, other than provide government jobs that do that? All fulfilling government jobs being in the realm of providing an administrative infrastructure that facilitates the citizens finding fulfilling work?
    I am clear that each human has inner desires, that if not satiated cause that person to become more and more miserable over time, among which is the desire to be involved in fulfilling work. And I am further clear, that fulfilling work is a product of what the individual does, not at all a product of what society does. So if you want most of the population to have fulfilling work, apply effort to encourage everyone to go and find that. If you instead put effort into having the government accomplish that task, failure is inevitable. If you put effort into sitting in an office and dreaming up economic analysis, failure is inevitable. If you put effort into having conferences where politicians discuss what they intend to do, failure is inevitable.

    Reply

  46. questions says:

    What can anyone say to this:
    “Though workers interviewed were reluctant to talk about pay, a search on the Web reveals jobs at Fukushima Daiichi paying as little as 200,000 yen a month for positions like

    Reply

  47. DakotabornKansan says:

    Since the Reagan years, governments from the local to national level have been experimenting with privatization. Today governors, mayors, and other public officials are selling off public facilities, privatizing public assets, and contracting out vital public services. Local and state governments are struggling with budget deficits. Multinational corporations, offering sources of revenue, and conservative politicians, using the crisis as an opportunity to downsize government in their belief that the private sector can achieve efficiencies and cost savings, are pushing privatization. These public-private partnerships, known as P3s, raise significant public interest concerns.
    Today on Democracy Now, Bill Moyers spoke about how the power of organized wealth is snuffing out everything public.
    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/6/8/bill_moyers_on_his_legendary_journalism

    Reply

  48. Dan Kervick says:

    “Real jobs are jobs that do tasks that contribute to producing products humans buy. That can only occur in a company in the commercial market.”
    That is not true. Some kinds of real economic goods are distributed so broadly over an entire community, state or region that no realistically organized private commercial entity can possibly organize the resources and workforce to produce these goods – not unless that private entity effectively acquires the power of a national government. Also, some kinds of productive activity involve improvements in goods that are public property – or even in the capacities of people, who are no one’s property at all. And so these goods cannot be the objects of private economization and profit – not unless you want each and every good thing in the world to be owned by some private individuals.

    Reply

  49. questions says:

    We are tearing down what we should be building:

    Reply

  50. Cee says:

    Meanwhile, according to the June 10th issue of The
    Week, Gao Chong and Yu Miao ask if the US framed the
    IMF head DSK.

    Reply

  51. DakotabornKansan says:

    Sugar versus Antibiotics
    Given the climate in Washington, and the negative perceptions of the original shovel-ready infrastructure projects stimulus money, the proposal for a stimulative measure like an infrastructure bank would seem to be dead on arrival.
    Too little, too late?
    Zachary Goldfarb writes in the Washington Post about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

    Reply

  52. DonS says:

    “Real job” nuances may be lost on the millions of unemployed with their shrinking ability to maintain. Real jobs need to be addressed as part of the structural issues implicit of Wall Street’s bombing of the economy, the housing market, and public services, and government’s, on balance, enabling of that destruction through corporate subservience. Will “they” do it? Don’t know, but waiting five or ten years for the answer isn’t a “real” option for many.

    Reply

  53. Warren Metzler says:

    I haven’t watched the program, but if it is congresspersons,
    undoubtably we are going to again get the nonsense that
    government can increase real jobs. Real jobs are jobs that do
    tasks that contribute to producing products humans buy. That
    can only occur in a company in the commercial market. And no
    such company is going to product a permanent job because of
    some government program.
    It is high time we recognized this fact, and deprived government
    types of one more way they waste money; adding to our taxes
    and the deficit.
    I accept that when the government is needed to do a task, the
    person hired by the government was hired for a new job. But all
    such jobs lag behind jobs created in the private market. So the
    government can’t claim to have created that job.

    Reply

  54. paul lukasiak says:

    “Bernard L. Schwartz
    CEO, BLS Investments
    Member, Board of Directors, New America Foundation”
    Bernie Schwartz? You mean Tony Curtis is on the NAF board?!?! And here I thought he died in 2010. ūüėČ

    Reply

  55. non-hater says:

    I guess it’s too late ask for a issue to be raised, but nonetheless: I’d like to know why the federal government doesn’t have a separate capital budget.

    Reply

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