Tag Archive: Economics

Christie’s Summer of Failure – And Ours

Promoted by Rosi, who is not as convinced as the writer or the first commenter, of the eventual outcome.

As the dog days of Summer set in (actually, it’s pretty cool out today, now that I think about it), the nearly unbelievable extent of the failures of our strong-willed governor have clearly emerged. Here is a man who was elected to one of the most powerful governorships in the nation, yet, after a full term and then some, he’s achieved nothing.

In infrastructure, he failed us. He vetoed the construction of a long-overdue Trans-Hudson link in his first term. Now he’s illegally shuffling around millions to fund repairs on the Pulaski Highway. Public transit fares remain astronomical, especially for those commuting into New York City. I’d say that all of this is due to his “small government” philosophy, but that’s really the philosophy of the Republican Party. Christie has no philosophy, no guiding set of ideas, no overall goals, at least none that do not relate to his national political career. He does like to yell at people who ask him tough questions  

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week: Tales from the front lines

Promoted by Rosi.

Cross-posted from Marie Corfield.

Tuesday is National Teacher Appreciation Day, and all across the country PTOs and PTAs will be honoring us for the work we do. I am continually grateful for and humbled by all the PTO does at my school this week because they already do so much for us throughout the year. This week I will be showing my appreciation for my profession and those who support us, like our PTO, by writing stories from the front lines: the good, the bad and the ugly from my 13 years as a teacher, and stories I’ve heard from other teachers.

Buono responds back to Christie: “A Record Like That”

We’ve said it before, and newspaper editorials have too. Christie’s success floats on YouTube moments, donut-eating on teevee and spider smashing with the cameras whirring. The blur of propaganda for this Governor is sophisticated and professionally managed, designed to look like it’s not even being managed. And he scores like a TV star. But his argument for re-election utterly falls apart when you examine his record on the metrics of New Jersey’s economic condition, particularly in the issue that New Jerseyan’s care about most, our property taxes. And property taxes up nearly 20% with 400,000 out of work doesn’t look good no matter how hard your spinners are spinning.

The video below from the Buono campaign is a response to Chris Christie’s negative ad on Buono. At :07, it cites Mark Magyar’s widely-read analysis at NJ Spotlight of the spike in property taxes under Christie (read it here). Christie’s response to Magyar’s piece? An attack on Magyar personally (read that here). Following that within hours, was the Ledger’s Tom Moran and his sharply critical piece defending Magyar’s good journalism (at a rival publication, which was a classy thing for Moran to do) and pointing out that for all Christie’s stomping around (my term) Christie has been unable to produce different numbers (Moran’s must-read, here).

Here’s Buono’s video. What do you think, Blue Jersey?

Christie: “Intellectually Dishonest”

Yesterday, Chris Christie left New Jersey (again, without notification and again omitting out-of-state travel from his daily public schedule) to wing up to New Hampshire and make his endorsement of Mitt Romney. (Seriously, APP, what about this surprises you?)

Christie made his announcement, standing in front of a beaming Romney, before last night’s GOP debate in the Granite State. Better to make Romney look inevitable, with GOP establishment figures like Denny Hastert jumping in for Romney today, and a jolt of Christie  glitter to brighten up Romney’s dull veneer. Seemed to work; Romney’s performance last night, by GOP standards, worked for him. He did have Christie in-house, cheering. Though, as Chuck Todd pointed out this AM on msnbc, somebody forgot to tell the electorate Romney’s a sure thing.

Christie wasted no time helping out. But helping who, is the question. In yesterday’s endorsement, the Gov also endorsed a state’s right to enact an individual health mandate. But, invoking the term meant to spook members of his own party – Obamacare – Christie said any comparison between Ronmey’s health care program in Massachusetts and Obama’s federally was “intellectually dishonest”.

That’s either a deliberate attempt to misinform voters and paste over a stumbling block for right-wing voters (that Romney has thusfar avoided by skirting around it). Or, maybe Chris Christie just needs to read ThinkProgress. Back in April ThinkProgress did a side-by-side comparison of both plans:

Romney program to Obama program

Left out of Christie’s endorsement and criticism of “Obamacare” is the fact that Romneycare” is financed with federal dollars, and higher taxes on people who won’t buy coverage. Or that advisers and consultants who worked on his program in Massachusetts went on to advise the federal government on the dreaded “Obamacare”. But seriously, why bring that up, Gov. Christie?

Mic Check! Discipline & Community in the #Occupy Movement

I laugh at people, some of whom make a profession of cooking up movements in GOP think-tanks funded by oil billionaires and dressing them up to look like popular uprisings, and how they’re desperately trying to characterize the Occupy Wall Street movement as rag-tag, losers jealous of other people’s success and living out some 60’s fantasy be-in. I don’t know what the Occupy movement will be, and whether in a year we’ll see its emerging direction as the work of genius or scoundrel. But I do know we’re watching something we haven’t seen before. And to the frustration of its targets, it’s not going away. Nearly a month now for New York, and as you know now in Trenton and Jersey City.

DCCC just made a pretty cynical attempt to list-build off the Occupy Wall Street movement, with a broad campaign directing Democrats to sign in with their email addresses, and deliberately ignoring the fact that OWS organizers hold the Democratic Party responsible for Wall Streets plunders, too, and not just the Republicans. GOP forces just want to wedge Dems apart and try to make protesters look ridiculous.

But they’re not ridiculous. Blessedly, they are not merely partisans of one political party trying to clobber another. And they are self-defining. Not even its allies, like AFL-CIO both nationally and in Jersey, are likely to define it. Nor should they.

One strong signal of OWS singularity is its organizational response to the stumbling block of rally communication. In New York and as #occupy spreads, participants often don’t have microphones. In fact, sometimes the presence of an electronic sound system requires permits to use that public space. But reclaiming public space is part , and that’s not something they always want to ask permission to do.

A solution: the human microphone. Somebody yells out “Mic check!” and the speaker is heard, in waves from the front to the back of the crowd. It’s fragementary, and it can be a little chaotic (see the Michael Moore ‘mic check’ video after the jump). But it requires discipline its detractors say the movement lacks. And the community cooperation is extraordinary. Moving, even.

Watch this video shot Saturday by Matt Sledge and featuring an Egyptian activist drawing comparisons between this intentionally leaderless undertaking, and the revolution that inspired it, Arab Spring.

Spirit in the Night: Clarence Clemons, Chris Christie, and the Future of New Jersey

One night we were playing in Asbury Park. I’d heard The Bruce Springsteen Band was nearby at a club called The Student Prince and on a break between sets I walked over there. On-stage, Bruce used to tell different versions of this story but I’m a Baptist, remember, so this is the truth. A rainy, windy night it was, and when I opened the door the whole thing flew off its hinges and blew away down the street. The band were on-stage, but staring at me framed in the doorway. And maybe that did make Bruce a little nervous because I just said, “I want to play with your band,” and he said, “Sure, you do anything you want.” The first song we did was an early version of “Spirit In The Night”. Bruce and I looked at each other and didn’t say anything, we just knew. We knew we were the missing links in each other’s lives. He was what I’d been searching for. In one way he was just a scrawny little kid. But he was a visionary. He wanted to follow his dream. So from then on I was part of history.

– Clarence Clemons

A lot more below the fold.

How Much Are You Worth? An Essay.

promoted by Rosi

Fair warning, a dissertation lies ahead. Advance at your own peril.

What you think you are worth and what others think you are worth are usually as different as night and day but in this economy, it is likely a lot worse than you thought. Some would say we are worth the work we do or the value we impart to the service we provide but nothing could be further from the truth in this age of “Commodity Workforce Economics.”

It used to be that an honest day of labor earned an adequate and livable wage while providing your employer a reasonable portion of profit based on the value added on the product you created or service you provided.  But no more. You’re not worth the work you do because you are a draw on profits or, if you are a public worker, a poker chip to be misrepresented as a burdensome cost on tax payers.

Adios Friedman, Hello Krugman

I doubt this was the Nobel Prize academy’s intent, but the awarding of the laurel in economics to Paul Krugman really brings down the curtain on the age of Milton Friedman. Just as Friedman’s dogmas about free markets and deregulation were the foundation for the shaky edifice of conservative “max out the credit cards and let magic marketplace fairies pay the bills” economic thinking, Krugman’s sobersided views on how government intervention helped set the stage for sustained and widespread prosperity in mid-20th-century America can guide us as we dig ourselves out of the pit into which Milton’s Minions have thrown us. With books like The Great Unraveling and The Return of Depression Economics, Krugman gave us the number of the truck that was about to hit America’s (and the world’s) financial markets. Friedman, let it be noted, was a Rutgers boy before he became one of the Chicago Boys. Krugman teaches at Princeton. So how’s that for your Jersey connection? And here’s how one Nobel laureate gave another his due, while also explaining where he went wrong.

Cross posted at The Opinion Mill.