FOUR MORE YEARS!!!





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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: FOUR MORE YEARS!!!
By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 05:08 am: Edit

Discuss.

By Onnihs (Onnihs) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 05:57 am: Edit

the very fact that our president invaded Iraq on absolutely false pretenses should be enough to fire him. the republicans sure do a good job in justifying the war after the fact, but remember, we were never forced to invade iraq like we were forced to invade afghanistan -- our president made the decision to invade iraq on the basis of wmd's and an al queda / iraq link. none exist.

We should have focused our military resources elsewhere.. but instead, our military is now short on personnel, and our lines are scattered so thin throughout the world that we would be doomed if the poop hit the fan elsewhere. the administration's poor planning for the occupation of iraq is another big issue. remember when Paul Wolfowitz fired army chief of staff Gen. Shinseki for advising we needed at least 100,000 troops for the invasion of iraq?

we currently have 160,000 troops in iraq, and we're still short.

yes, i do believe that Saddam is an evil guy, and the world is, no doubt, better off without him... HOWEVER, what about other ruthless dictators, such as Kim Jong Il? Tell me, under the bush administration's claims of WMD's, wouldn't it have made more sense to invade north korea instead of iraq? We knew the weapons were there. and kim jong il is no doubt equivalent or even more ruthless than saddam hussein. but yet, our president wrongfully led us into a war with a country that had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with the people or group that originally attacked the US. Furthermore, in moments that led to the invasion of iraq, the bush administration ostracized the US from most of the global community, and most importantly, the United Nations. we looked arrogant and bellicose, as usual... but only now we have more enemies in the world than we ever had before.

this is why i will not vote for bush, and this is why i don't understand how people can vote for bush. yes, i understand he did well in the aftermath of 9/11, and even in afhganistan. but this mistake (yes, it was a MISTAKE, no matter how you try to justify it) has cost 1,000 American lives, and countless innocent iraqis.

i love america, but i do not believe our current direction is right.

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:32 am: Edit

If Bush gets re-elected... I'm moving to Canada.

By Asianalto (Asianalto) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:36 am: Edit

The only reason I would want to see Bush reelected is so that in another 4 years, Condy Rice can run against Hillary Clinton, and then we'll have a real showdown.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:42 am: Edit

Scubasteve, If Kerry gets elected, this will be Canada!

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 10:57 am: Edit

Jan, don't tell me you are a Bush admirer! Please say it isn't so!!! LOL

By Megofou (Megofou) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 11:04 am: Edit

Weee. I talked to another friend today who JUST decided to vote for Kerry. Nothing to do with current issues...because...come on. People are lying like there's no tomorrow. Just because he wants to see a 'decent' republican in the whitehouse in four years.

I love people's logic.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 01:11 pm: Edit

No Alexander, I don't admire Bush. Kerry, however, is a socialist and this is supposed to be America!

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 01:21 pm: Edit

Mom101:

There must be a lot of Americans who are socialists then, if they support Kerry. No matter who wins in November, everyone agrees it's a tight race. Americans are people are who citizens of the USA, no matter what their political convictions. HUAC was dismantled many years ago.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 01:37 pm: Edit

I agree that an awful lot of Americans are thinking socialist today.In my opinion it is a gut reaction to the decline of middle class jobs with benefits. And I think K/E are pandering to this. Pretending they can quickly change the situation. Provide health care for all more cheaply, fix education, bring outsourced jobs back etc., all while only raising taxes for those making over $200K.

By Willywonka (Willywonka) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 01:40 pm: Edit

Hilary would destroy Condy. :P

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Mom101:

Concern about health care and about jobs have been around for a long time. It did not need the latest economic problems to bring them to the fore or for Kerry to articulate the issues. Labor Day commemorates the American Labor movement, and a union strike. Social Security was introduced by the arch-socialist, Richard Nixon.
What has happened is that many in the middle class no longer identify closely with the super-rich because their dreams of becoming super-rich are proving to be chimeric.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:05 pm: Edit

Interesting point Marite. It does seem as though most Americans have given up on the American dream. I visited last week with people I had spent my early childhood with and their parents. Largely jewish immigrant families, first and second generation (the parents) who met in NYC in the 60s. We were not jewish or recent immigrants, but very much adopted their way of seeing the world--education would make the American dream happen. Turns out it did for many in this crowd. I see the same attitude among Asian immigrants in CA today. The women who started doing my nails in a small shop 15 years ago now has a chain of stores and a child at Harvard. So why did mainstream America stop believing?

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:16 pm: Edit

4 more years! 4 more years! as Don king always says. I am not going to go into the list of reasons why, but Kerry and Edwards are too socialistic. And I want H. clinton to run in 08 against McCain/Guiliani/Pataki so that she can lose.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:28 pm: Edit

Hasn't Hillary suffered enough being married to Bill?

By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:30 pm: Edit

If Pataki runs for President in 08 the republican party is in serious trouble...

Most are predicting Guiliani will make a run for senator or governor... not President. Too national for his liking... he wants to represent New York

By Vancat (Vancat) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:35 pm: Edit

I wouldn't hesitate to go for a McCain/Powell ticket if that ever happens.

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:44 pm: Edit

>>Turns out it did for many in this crowd. I see the same attitude among Asian immigrants in CA today. The women who started doing my nails in a small shop 15 years ago now has a chain of stores and a child at Harvard. So why did mainstream America stop believing? >>

Perhaps because they bought into the American dream that education is the ticket to success but got a pink slip? Isn't that what happened in Silicon Valley? It probably has/had more BAs and MAs per square foot than any other place in the US. Think of it: manicurists cannot be outsourced; they don't even have to speak English, much less go to college.

When you make good money, you may not worry about the cost of health insurance or whether your job has a pension scheme, especially if you're young. But if you suddenly find yourself unemployed. with a young child or children, then a bit of a safety net is awfully attractive.

By Simba (Simba) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 03:52 pm: Edit

I don't admire Bush. Kerry, however, is a socialist....

So now is this the talking point advocated by RNC and Fox and the attack machine now?

How did you get such a convoluted idea?

By Onnihs (Onnihs) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 04:17 pm: Edit

^ the same way bush supporters get the idea that he is good for america.

By Riflesforwatie (Riflesforwatie) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 04:42 pm: Edit

"No Alexander, I don't admire Bush. Kerry, however, is a socialist and this is supposed to be America!"


Hmmmmm... many socialist ideals have been incorporated into American government and society for decades.

Maybe you are one of those conservatives who would prefer we were all forced to go back to the year 1793?

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 04:45 pm: Edit

Simba, a national universal health care, if ever brought to existence, would socialize 17% of our national economy under govt ownership and control. I dont think he is a full fledged socialist, but he would want to move us in that direction.

By Simba (Simba) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 04:48 pm: Edit

currently 12-13% of our health care economy is under govt. ownership, but no control

By Riflesforwatie (Riflesforwatie) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 05:05 pm: Edit

"And I want H. clinton to run in 08 against McCain/Guiliani/Pataki so that she can lose."

LOL.... even as far left as Hillary is, she would beat someone that moderate. Conservatives would defect to the Constitution Party in droves. (McCain would be okay, but not the other two)

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

Jlq took the words right out of my mouth. K/E ideas on health care, corporate governance and many other things clearly reflect socialist ideology. Even liberal pindits are talking about how Democrats have clearly lost the left and center. I live in Canada for years and the US is sounding more like it every day.

Rifles, no, I am a moderate who believes that what will save the middle class is vastly improved and free enterprise.

Marite, looking at Silicon Valley is indeed interesting. When technology was exploding (not the dot com debacle) everyone benefited here. Secretaries were so in demand that good ones could make 6 figures. The companies here had the most generous benefits known to man. The Government cooperated with tech companies allowing for stock options and visas for needed employees. The middle class was fat and happy. Then came maturation of technology as an industry. Growth slowed as did salaries and benefits. Suddenly all of the foreigners we so badly needed became interlopers taking American jobs. Then outsourcing as a way to be profitable in a time of slow growth. Yes, many have lost their jobs. Less so the highly educated, broadly skilled. Yet many people have successfully reinvented themselves. Something it's clear this next generation will probably have to do several times during their working years. But it all comes back to education, innovation and not hindering free enterprise IMO. We do need Americans to recapture the spirit of their immigrant ancestors who relied more on their ingenuity than getting a corporation to take care of them for life.

We see it clearly here in the Valley, those that say Oh god, HP says they will not be growing here, what do we do? And those that quickly enrolled in biotech classes at local colleges and are making more money than ever. Those that are angry in hindsight about all the free trade agreements and those that have started export companies taking advantage of them.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 05:33 pm: Edit

I meant pundits, and right and center!

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 06:09 pm: Edit

Mom101:

>>I am a moderate who believes that what will save the middle class is vastly improved and free enterprise.>>

I agree with you there. But I also believe it is not incompatible with providing a better safety net than we now provide either through the private sector or through government programs.

By Valpal (Valpal) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 06:36 pm: Edit

So Bush is to blame for the bursting of the dot. com bubble and the outsourcing of jobs oversea? How so? Did'nt the "giant sucking sound" (which the funny looking little guy with the ears warned us of) start happening not long after the passing of NAFTA?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 06:59 pm: Edit

Education needs to be the safety net. Do we really want Government to be the net? Just look at Canada. Even they are now rolling back taxes and extolling the virtues of free enterprise.

By Simba (Simba) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:20 pm: Edit

You claim to be living in Canada, but haven't started to look through Canadian eyes. You still have your voodo economics mind set.

Every Canadian I have met, will not come and live in US. Get shot, live without basic health care needs, either with me or against God mentality. Have you ever wondered why 60% of Canadian teens think America is evil.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:25 pm: Edit

"Get shot, live without basic health care needs, either with me or against God mentality."

I have never been shot, do not wait months for basic health care like a Canadian, and choose which God I want to worship. And I live in the USA.

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:26 pm: Edit

Mom101:

Talked to unemployed graduates lately? A non-English-speaking manicurist has a better chance of finding employment after spending 2 months training for a license than a graduate of a LAC after four years and $160K. Building contractors in my area are backed up for the next two years. Most of their workers do not speak English. I doubt many graduated from high school.

Yes, I do want the government to provide a better safety net than people have now. It is part of what we pay taxes for: to get garbage picked up, the potholes on our streets (hopefully) fixed up, the traffic lights working, the police providing a measure of security in our neighborhood, the military safeguarding the security of our nation, universal, compulsory and mostly "free education for all and a whole lot of other services that were not even dreamed of when Labor Day was first celebrated. We pay taxes so that we can eat beef without fear of contracting BSE, canned vegetables without fear of salmonella, go on airplanes knowing we have trained air traffic controllers, and now, airport screeners to protect us from terrorists. Why should unemployment benefits, health care and old age support not be part of what the government provides in exchange for our taxes? Why is this more "socialist" than screening for terrorists or testing drugs for safety?

It is interesting that this Administration has become more enmeshed in education than any previous one yet no one is crying "socialism." What is it about health insurance?

Let us not think that there is no cost to society when people do not have health insurance: the care they get in emergency rooms is more costly than if they had access to primary physicians and preventive medicine. It might be a good idea to look at health insurance more in terms of efficiency than in terms of ëntitlement ör socialism.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:31 pm: Edit

a police force and military and courts must be under gov control, but health care, food, clothing, shelter are not best provided by gov. Dont claim compassion by reaching into my pocket to pay for what you believe is good.

By Simba (Simba) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:31 pm: Edit

Did you relly live in Canada or that is just a convinient excuse to speak authoratively about Candian system?

Because if you really live in Canada, you knowledge is very superficial.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:36 pm: Edit

My cousins live in Canada, and they do not like it. Its health care system is a disaster. People wait months and die before seeing a specialist or getting treatments. In the US, they would be able to get it within a day. They pay huge taxes for that disaster. There is a terrible shortage of doctors, nurses, and researchers, who flee to the US where they are not subjected to govt control and capped wages. It is very hard to start businesses there, because of taxes at every turn. That is why their growth and wealth lags behind the US. My uncle complains to my mom that "he did not leave socialist vietnam to arrive at another stifling socialist (curse word)." They are thinking of moving to the US.

By Marite (Marite) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 08:48 pm: Edit

Why do we have NCLB if the free market works so well?

Recently, Bank of America announced it was laying off full time staff in favor of part-timers "so as to better serve our customers."" Yeah, right. Over 1,500 people who are joining the ranks of uemployed to be replaced by an equal number of part-time workers without health benefits or pensions. When they get sick, they probably will end up in emergency rooms. And when they're old, well... let's not think about it.

By Simba (Simba) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:02 pm: Edit

You know Canadian $ is lot stronger today than a year ago.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 11:50 pm: Edit

"extolling the virtues of free enterprise."

I only wish we really had free enterprise. Of course GWB is not really for that, either. Think of steel tariffs of a few years ago. Think of ag subsidies (lots of votes for the buck with the electoral college the way it is). Think of the tobacco buyout just passed. Think of environmental regulations written to support one particular group.

Mom101, I'm not sure what your definition of socialist is, but GWB is every bit as interventionist as Kerry, just in different ways. Step out of the way of extractive industries (anud use up our resources first. Then we'll REALLY need the saudis). But step into the bedroom and regulate behaviour. Step into the schools and tell them what kind of sex education will be allowed with federal $. Now THAT'S socialist!

Yes, the "free enterprise" system is wonderful. It brings us Enron, Hollinger, the wonderful insider dealings of Wall Street. It brought us Sinclair's conditions in the Jungle years ago.

BTW, your idea of a flat tax? Great. Just include all federal taxes, INCLUDING the payroll tax.

By Valpal (Valpal) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:02 am: Edit

I asked a question a few posts back. Is anybody willing to address it? Honestly, I'm not the most politically educated or savvy member of this forum. I'm just trying to sort it all out and come to some sort of an understanding.

Nonetheless, I deeply distrust the atmosphere of hyperbolic partisanship that prevails in the political rhetoric of this country. It quite honestly alarms me, because it doesn't make sense that ANY president (especially one that has been in office for only one term) can be held entirely to blame for every single problem that America suffers. Sheer logic would indicate that that is just not possible. Yet, I hear over and over again that Goerge W. Bush is responsible for ruining the economy, and for the outsourcing of American jobs, for the failure of the American educational system, for America's health care crisis. Well, does that really make sense? Why was Bill Clinton such an exemplary president, when towards the end of his administration, the unemployment rate was at %15 percent, the same rate held to be so damning of the Bush Presidency? It's pretty easy to blame the guy that happens to be president, believing that he weilds power all out of proportion to that of his office. Reality indicates that innumerable global forces and variables(ones whose roots have often been sown decades in advance) have more to do with the state of any given economy, at any given point in time, than ANY one presidential administration. Our economy does not occur in a vacuum. Yet it's success or ruin is all too often laid at the feet of one man. Someone tell me how that makes sense?

By Hayden (Hayden) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:23 am: Edit

I have a major concern for the way our whole economy is going. The difference between the pay/perk packages to senior execs is getting so out of line with reasonable levels that it is almost scary. CEO's with failing companies are making bonuses in the hundreds of millions. One of the ways they do it is by laying off workers, and working with leaner staff who get miniscule raises and are pleased just to keep their jobs. This is one of the reasons for the jobless recovery. And while your nail person may be doing well and have a child at Harvard, I would suggest that a couple of stories like that do not an economy make. Our company laid off five people in our office last week. Shall I suggest they go learn how to do nails?

By Hayden (Hayden) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:56 am: Edit

And Marite, one more thing. Your comment about HUAC being dismantled many years ago: One of my earliest memories of polities was listening to the radio in St. Louis. A local politician was a huge defender of the House on Un-American Activities, and his position was that it was important to keep America free of dangerous opinions. He said the government had a responsibility to keep out "those people". And that politician? You guessed it - John Ashcroft.

By Bunmushroom (Bunmushroom) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:02 am: Edit

"You know Canadian $ is lot stronger today than a year ago."

Good for them. Unfortunatly for them, the value of a currency is not reflective of an overall economy.

By Valpal (Valpal) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:04 am: Edit

That some corporate CEOs are garnering multi-million dollar bonuses while their rank and file employees are collecting pink slips, is a phenomenon that has been occurring for at least the past two decades. Massive down sizing was something that occurred unabated throughout the miracle that was the Clinton Administration also.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:30 am: Edit

Mom, I am a socialist myself. I see nothing wrong with Socialism. Communism is another story. But all Socialism demands is a responsible and humanitarian approach to life...and it works better than any other system. Some of the most advanced societies on earth are Socialist. Look at Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Low unemployment, low crime, high levels of education, great medicine etc...

Incidently, how was your NYC trip? Did Boulud hit the spot? Was it everything you had hoped for?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:30 am: Edit

I lived in Canada for several years but left as did most young Canadians I knew who were able to. Brain drain is a huge problem in Canada. My husband and his siblings are very typical of highly educated Canadians in their generation. 3 of 4 left the Country. My experience is that of the poster above who talks about her relatives wanting to leave. We know countless people who have sought green cards. The US holds a lottery each year for the few spots open to immigrants without sponsors. In a country with only 27 million people, millions sign up. Health care for all in Canada means waiting for months to see a specialist. Don't get me wrong, I believe we should make health care for all Americans a priority. I just know systems like Canada's are total failures. And yes, Canada is getting stronger. They have privitized most of the companies formally run by the government, lowered taxes and put in place free market practices. Why? Because Government intervention into everything was not working.

Massdad, it's not my position that Bush is a great candidate or that he's doing everything right.

Valpal, all the BS about Bush being responsible for many situations that were years in the making is just that, BS. The same will be true of what Kerry will be accused of in 4 years if he wins.

Marite, I don't think many economists, no matter their political persuasion, believe it will be healthy for the government to get any more involved in business practices. Do you think we should make B of A keep full time employees if part timers work best for their business model? If that becomes the case we'll see a lot more job losses as companies give up on marginally profitable businesses. The answer, and it's quite plausable, is to grow more good jobs. Protectionism simply doesn't work. Protectionist Countries (Japan, Canada) become stagnant. That said, I think we should provide funds for retraining people who are outsourced and lose jobs for certain other reasons. Again, however, I don't think this should be done by government, but should be the responsibility of the corporations involved.

By Jlq3d3 (Jlq3d3) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 03:16 am: Edit

At least Canada is showing a push back to capitalism. The once defunct conservative party has become much stronger and almost unseated the liberal party this election. Experts say that they will make further gains in coming elections.

Anyway, my friend's mom left Canada. She is a nurse, and was fed up with low wages, too many patients and not enough nurses, too much beurocracy running medicine instead of hospitals and doctors, and above all, a socialist economy that stifles opportunities for her children to become successes.

By Shortcakefairy (Shortcakefairy) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 04:20 am: Edit

Mom, I am a socialist myself. I see nothing wrong with Socialism. Communism is another story. But all Socialism demands is a responsible and humanitarian approach to life...and it works better than any other system. Some of the most advanced societies on earth are Socialist. Look at Scandinavia and the Netherlands. Low unemployment, low crime, high levels of education, great medicine etc...

i'm too tired to talk about where i feel true compassion should really come from (individuals and communities) NOT the government

i would argue that it is not the best idea to compare a large, complex, diverse, hugely populated society as the USA to small countries liek scandinavia, and the netherlands. What might work for them isn't necessarily going to work on the same level with us.

There are definitely tradeoffs to preserving a capitalistic and democratic nation, but i'm more willing to accept those tradeoffs than to sacrifice basic freedoms (both personal and economic), which i feel are responsible for getting the country to where it is today...and how we continually progress towards the future.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 07:10 am: Edit

Mom101:

I do not subscribe to the idea that the government is responsible for all the successes or all the failures of the economy, that the president can stop outsourcing and globalization, etc... I do not think you will find many who do. It is a caricature to claim so.

I do believe that the government has a role to play in helping society cope with larger trends by setting economic and fiscal policy.
As Massdad says, the US government is deeply involved in economic policy. Steel tariffs, agri business, support for drug companies, tax policy, regulation or deregulation of economic activities, etc...

In fact, business is in favor or a government role in the market because regulations set the parameters in which it can operate and compete. If consumers cannot trust that drugs are safe, that the food in their supermarkets is FDA approved, then they will not purchase those drugs or that food.

Banks want to be regulated in order to drive out unscrupulous players who give banking a bad name and reassure nervous customers. Just think back to the S& L scandal of years ago, a scandal which, incidentally, Kerry played a role in cleaning up. The banking industry was very happy for government to step in and clean its stables.

Let us not kid ourselves that the only health care costs we bear are the costs of insuring ourselves alone. Now that my S is no longer on my family health plan, we four are paying $8k+ per year, more if we count dental insurance. Only a few years ago, we were paying 1/3 of that. The reason for escalating health care costs is that hospitals are trying to recoup the cost of treating the uninsured in emergency rooms by raising the premiums of those who are insured. I'm not talking compassion: I'm talking efficiency. I do not think it is economically efficient to have 15 million people dependent on emergency rooms for their health care. Not only is it more expensive to treat them there but they also come to ERs more sick than if they had had access to preventive care.

I do not know whether health insurance would be better administered through HMOs or a government-administered universal health plan. But this administration has given up on seeking solutions to the lack of health insurance of 15 million Americans. By and large, the uninsured are not people on welfare. They are working people whose ranks are rapidly increasing.

By Simba (Simba) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 07:50 am: Edit

Edwards is correct - there are two Americas

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 09:47 am: Edit

Shortcake fairy, I also have no problem with socialism. It's just that this Country claims not to be socialist. We need to make up our minds so that those of us not wanting to live in a socialist country can examine our options.

Marite, I don't disagree with much of what you say. Health care is a crisis and something needs to be done. I don't know enough to say what. Emergency rooms in my area are simply closing because the are losing their hospitals so much money. Last week a judge actually ordered one closed. But I do disagree that busisnesses as a whole want more regulation. Just as their are bad dpeople there will be bad companies run by such people. So we should definitely have corporate police. But not governments telling companies what to do.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:11 am: Edit

Mom101:

Can you have corporate police if the government is not in the business of telling companies what NOT to do?

Businesses like regulations because it reassures consumers that they are legit. Think about banks and FDIC, or about the role of FDA. Pharmaceutical companies may complain that they have to jump through hoops to win approval for new drugs, but they are quick to use lack of FDA approval to keep less expensive foreign competitors out of the US market. Businesses also like government involvement when it helps their profits. Look at farm subsidies (most of which go to large agribusiness rather than to family farms, or to the steel industry). If they want government subsidies, they must accept some government oversight, no?

By Massdad (Massdad) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:13 am: Edit

" The answer, and it's quite plausable, is to grow more good jobs. Protectionism simply doesn't work. Protectionist Countries (Japan, Canada) become stagnant. That said, I think we should provide funds for retraining people who are outsourced and lose jobs for certain other reasons. Again, however, I don't think this should be done by government, but should be the responsibility of the corporations involved."

Are you implying that the protectionism we currently have should be scrapped? We should re-do the trade treaty with Australia?

I guess I'm puzzled. You accuse Kerry of being socialist. Yet, we look at the current administration and see just as many interventionist policies, yet the current admin is better. Curious.

Moving on, the problem with having a support net (and that's what job retraining, for example, is part of) based on private activity is that it is very difficult to have private activity forced to help all comers. Private activities, whether charity or for profit, are typically allowed to have standards and criteria for those they help. Yet many who need help are not always the most sympathetic members of our society. Many are truly unpleasant. Yet they need the help, too, unless you define the situation in rather darwinian terms. Indeed, a big part of our constitution is protecting unpopular minorities from the oppression of the majority. This is where private aid all too often fails.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:20 am: Edit

Another thought for discussion:

- is protectionism all bad? Would it be worth "taxing" ourselves in order to avoid the meltdown of certain parts of our economic structure? Would it be worthwhile to pay a few more percent for clothing, for example, to preserve the social/economic structure in the mid south, for instance? What about helping rust belt cities? Small farmers? [sports teams???]

It's curious that we actually are being "taxed" in ways like this. Unfortunately, the discussion never seems to be framed in economic terms. Rather, it's too often just about votes.

I am not convinced such activities are all bad. Certainly, if one looks back at the economic history of the country, it is hard to correlate protectionism or lack of same with economic success or failure. Japan is a terrible example, BTW. Think China or Korea. Highly protectionist, yet good growth.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:32 am: Edit

Some oversight, of course. Making B of A retain full time employees? No. Back to your point Maeite, do people feel the government is responsible for creating a strong economy and can stop globalization? In America today there is strong evidence that this is just what many, many people think. There is actually an initiative in CA's November election designed to stop outsourcing in specific segments. Though the powers that be know it totally violates trade agreements and there will be swift retaliation if we implement this, I will be surprised if it doesn't pass.

I'm not at all saying that all protectionism should be scrapped. What I am saying is that increased protectionism to stop globalization would be a huge mistake. Many Americans are calling for this and instead of discussing the real issues, politicians are pandering to them. "We will fight to keep jobs in America (John Edwards, over and over)." Get real! We are not going to have a healthy economy be stopping business from competeing globally.

Once again Massdad, I have vast problems with both sides. I'd just like to see a little reality enter into the rhetoric.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 10:53 am: Edit

Mom, I don;t care about Economics and brain-drains. I want to know about Cafe Boulud! Fork over the experience lady!

By Massdad (Massdad) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:28 am: Edit

"I'm not at all saying that all protectionism should be scrapped. What I am saying is that increased protectionism to stop globalization would be a huge mistake. "

Why? Yes, classical economic theory will tell you that on the whole, society gains from the most efficient allocation of resources. However, try telling the unemployed garment worker that his unemployment benefitted a bangladeshi so much that we all come out ahead.

There are, of course, groups that have huge gains from outsourcing: stockholders/investors, business owners that reduce costs by doing so, etc. Unfortunately, their gain is directly attributable to the losses of others in our own US society. So, when I hear your cry to avoid protectionism, preserve globalization etc, I hear the cry of one who expects to gain from these things. But, do you really want to gain at the expense of your fellow citizens?

Mabye GWB's ownership class colleagues should give up a bit so that the non owners, the workers, can have a small sliver of the pie?

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:28 am: Edit

>>Back to your point Maeite, do people feel the government is responsible for creating a strong economy and can stop globalization? >>

I'm neither a politician or a poll-taker. I do not know what other people believe any more than you do. But yes, I believe the government has a role to play in the economy. That's not to say that the government is omnipotent (thank goodness!). What's Alan Greenspan's role in the economy? As one lawyer famously said, he's not a potted plant.

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 11:50 am: Edit

The idea that we live in a "free-market" system is such a joke--yet people seem to swallow the idea whole, with nearly no examination of the facts.

Let's see. Hmm. What does our gov't subsidize. What huge industries have we bailed out or bankrolled continuously at TAXPAYER expense.

1. Agriculture
2. The airline industry
3. The financial industry
4. The pharmaceutical industry
5. Defense, through the pentagon, which subsidizes R and D, the results of which are handed over to private industry.

But no! Let's target welfare moms! Why, they're bleeding us dry!

Let's turn a blind eye to urban povery and malnutrition, too. Does anyone here know that only 2 areas in the WORLD have seen a net increase in malnutrition and starvation in the last 30 years? Sub-saharan Africa and the US.

That's scary.

When industry gets it's own sorry ass off welfare, stops taking my tax money and starts fulfilling it's end of the moral contract, let me know.

Free market, my eye.

In the meantime, keep believing RNC and DNC talking points until your gray matter oozes out of your noses.

Grrrrr.

By Pkpat2000 (Pkpat2000) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:45 pm: Edit

"We are not going to have a healthy economy by stopping business from competeing globally."

Mom101, I agree with you on this statement. But Bush's administration has been ruled in violation of WTO (World Trade Organization) rules, because of $3 billion in cotton subsidies, and faces sanctions in the fall. The WTO has already approved sanctions against the U.S. for $2 billion dollars.

What about drug imports from Canada? Conservatives want to block cheap drugs from Canada, even though they are the same drugs as in the U.S. and proven to be safe. The U.S. pays more for its drugs than any other country and the same companies ship cheaper drugs to Canada. Why should we be forced to pay higher prices?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 12:51 pm: Edit

Massdad, evolution always harms some individuals. Clearly outsourcing of white collar jobs is hurting many as many suffered (and continue to) because of the decline of manufacturing in this country. But really, it's not a corporate plot against the middle class and poor. The plot against those groups is the pathetic education in this country.

This is now a global economy whether we like it or not. It's not a Democrat or Republic thing as both parties have presided over many trade agreements. If we try to stop American companies from taking full advantage of the agreements, we will see many companies go under and many more people out of work.

We need to provide retraining for workers, and people need to think in different terms about what employment means. Our children are likely to be laid off sometime during their careers, they are way less likely to work for one organization for life than we were and they will probably have an evolving career. We need to educate people more braodly and teach flexibility.

I live in Silicon Valley and see the pain up close. I also lived near Detroit when the auto industry crashed. I'm a Ph.D. candidate studying outsourcing. It will not be stopped nor should it be IMO. A healthy economy will not result from protectionism or slowing down the global economy.

Alexandre, Cafe Bouloud not fabulous. Best meals by far were at Jean Georges, Nobu and a really cheap chinese restaurant in the E. 60's!

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:07 pm: Edit

Hello Jan. I agree that the global economy should not be stopped, but I believe in a socialistic, not capitalistic approach. The pace of globalization and economic growth must not be set by corporations. I have seldom met an honest industrialist.

I am sorry to hear about Boulud. As Daniel Boulud's side project, it can be inconsistant at times. Next time, try Daniel. And if you like seafood, Le Bernardin is a must. And since you live in the Bay area, make sure you eat at Sierra Mar (Post Ranch Inn), Gary Danko's and of course, La Folie!

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:15 pm: Edit

Sierra Mar and the hotel are favorites. I had an awful meal at the newly reopened Dleur de Lys a couple of weeks ago. I never thought I'd meet the meal with too much foie gras, but I did there! Heading for Boston this weekend, any knowledge of restaurants there?

Alexandre, I live in Canada for several years. My dather in law was the long time CEO of a huge Crown Corporation. I saw very up close what too much gov't. involvement does to companies and countries. Some regulations, yes. Auditing and policing to an extent, yes. But what we need here right now is rapid growth of solid jobs with benefits. We need incentives, not restrictions. Maybe you have to live in the Valley, but even those out of work here favor that approach. When gov't. cooperated with things like visas, we grew like topsy.

By Marite (Marite) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:28 pm: Edit

>>When gov't. cooperated with things like visas, we grew like topsy. >>

Hmmm.. there is a correlation somewhere, but in which direction? Could it be that the gov't cooperated with visas because we were growing like topsy? And now that we're not growing any more, anti-immigrant sentitment is returning?

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:38 pm: Edit

We could have never had the growth without visas. And yes, anti-immigrant sentiment is at an all time high here. To the point where we have a much reduced number of the world's best and brighest being educated here. This is another big mistake that will impact innovation and growth in technology and science in general.

It is truly unfortunate that the outsourcing issue recieved it's first major attention during an election year. Maybe otherwise we could have given the average Aerican who won't be researching the subject a more realistic riew. One paper I was reading this morning compared trying to stop outsourcing to trying to stop the growth of computer science. It displaces people from jobs too.

By Massdad (Massdad) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 01:38 pm: Edit

"But really, it's not a corporate plot against the middle class and poor. "

Of course it's not a plot. It's just corporations doing what they should, do, maximize shareholder income. The plot comes when our government is part of the effort to maximize shareholder returns at the expense of the broader swath of citizens.

And the unfortunate issue you've not touched on is that the "global economy" benefits all only when it is a level playing field. It doesn't take too much smarts to know that this assumption is not valid. The benefits that occur due to higher consumption in other countries etc (a rise in our exports, for example) will not occur because the economies we're outsourcing to, India for example, are largely closed to us. That's where we lose.

By Alexandre (Alexandre) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 02:01 pm: Edit

Aujourd'hui (Hotel Restaurant, but really nice)
Clio (fusion)
L'Espalier (highest rated restaurant in Boston. Excellent)
Radius is also very interesting
Rialto is quite nice. Simple, but solid.

Now, if you are going with the husband...and you guys don't mind a drive and a sleepover, I recommend the White Barn Inn in Maine! It is only about 70 miles north of Boston, but the food sublime!

As for government interference, like I said, there should be some. Companies should first care about citizens and its employees. Shareholders and executives don't mean a thing as far as I am concerned. Those who are fortunate must act responsibly. And the government has a responsibility to its citizens. As long as a nation cannot ofer the best education and medicine to all of its people, there is a need for government interference. You can say that I am a believer in Pareto Efficiency.

By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 03:08 pm: Edit

Stop discussing.

By Mom101 (Mom101) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 08:09 pm: Edit

Thanks Alexandre. So, can you name any countries that are successfully working with your approach? How are things regulated in the UAE?


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