Yep, the Current Economic Stagnation Must Have Been Due to the Sequester and "Austerity"


Monthly job additions, taken from Kevin Drum's site, who blames this on.... austerity and the sequester.  Yes, I can't prove that the PPACA helped drive the stagnation, but the Left can't prove the austerity link either, and at least I have correlation on my side.



  1. ganganelli:

    Monetary offset. This is one area I think the market monetarists have beaten the Keynesians. The Fed drives aggregate demand.

  2. jon:

    Mises stated in his book "Planned Chaos" that history is not the way to properly do economics or extrapolate the truth on economics. It is through sound logic. Although history is useful in seeing that the logic is correct.

    The main problem with history and economics is that each side will use history to show their side to be correct. We are still debating the policies used in the great depression - something that is pretty clear from the history not to have worked. But good luck getting a free market side to be believed if you are talking to a statist.

  3. Nehemiah:

    QE displaces investment and distorts financial markets. To the extent it drives market demand it is due to poor investment options. Lets see earn 0.2% on a CD or buy a new TV? We are not in a healthy place. When the stock market rallies because of poor economic data, which suggests more Fed intervention, that is not good,

  4. ganganelli:

    I agree for the most part. We actually had a time in America when the top tax rate was 91 percent and the unionization rate was 5x what it is today. A man could support his wife and kids on one income and actually had this thing called a pension. I don't know how we get back to that but what we're doing now sure isn't working.

  5. ganganelli:

    Isn't that convenient for Mises. You never have to let facts get in the way of theory.

  6. mlhouse:

    And who was the competition to the US then? Your argument is so idiotic that I am not surprised it is conventional wisdom amongst the Democrats.

  7. ganganelli:

    Another idiotic right wing talking point about the era known as "Happy Days". If a war destroys our overseas competitors it also destroys our overseas customers. But it doesn't matter because foreign trade was minuscule back then. Tell me, Einstein, what were our net exports as a percent of GDP in 1950?

    No wonder a Rasmussen poll is out today that has Democrat Terry McAuliffe whooping tea party candidate Ken Cuccinelli by 17 points in the race for governor of Virginia. Can we have more Republicans like you please?

  8. mlhouse:

    I guarantee I am much more educated than you on the subject of economics.

    And, you answered my question. Our overseas competitors were destroyed. Therefore, American labor and more importantly, American capital was all that was left in the world. Therefore, union labor had absolutely no lower cost competition.

    As far as "customers", the customers were created by such measures as the Bretton Woods agreement establishing the dollar as an international reserve, creating the IMF and the World Bank. In addition, the Marshall Plan was a very well organized and efficient means of increasing the aggregate demand of the devastated European economies.

    Are you going to continue on your path and argue that we could restore the 91% tax rates (which had massive loopholes) and high cost union labor and still remain competitive in this world economy???? Seriously???

  9. ganganelli:

    Another good argument. You challenge me with good points and I like that. But you are still wrong because trade simply wasn't a factor back then EVEN before the war when the "competitors" weren't destroyed.

    Furthermore, you basically are admitting that we have to have low labor costs in order to "compete" in the world. How low would you go? Should we have our workers live in dorm rooms at the factory ready to be called to work at any hour for a few bucks an hour like they do in China? I sure as hell don't want to live in a world like that.

  10. mlhouse:

    PLEASE, trade was vastly important to the US and world economies before the war and clearly was much more important after the war. Many economist, including Maynard Keynes believed that the international competition that reduced international trade was a major driver of the Second World War and many economist believe that tight protectionist policies in the US and the international response to such policies were major drivers in the Great Depression.

    As far as "admitting" you need to have low labor costs to compete, NO, I am not making such a claim. There is another factor that should compensate. I am not going to provide you with the answer to that and I will let you figure out what it is. In my opinion, this is the factor that destroyed the competitive position of union labor in this country. Again, you figure it out what it is.

  11. ganganelli:

    Again look at the numbers. Trade was minuscule and largely concentrated in agriculture. Domestic demand ruled the day back then.

    And I know you think productivity will compensate but that link has largely broken down over the last 30+ years.

    Look at the graph on this page. During the era of high unionization and high taxes productivity and compensation were linked very tightly. Since then, they have widely diverged.

  12. mlhouse:

    1. Sorry, your trade claims are simply wrong. Trade was a huge issue and almost ever contemporary economist, including as I noted Keynes, believed that it was an important driver in the problems, war and economics, that plagued the post-WWI world. The proof to that is the elaborate plans they put in place to stabilize world trade in a post WWII world. Frankly, wherever you are getting this inforamtion from simply is wrong.

    2. Notice I don't post anything from "Fox News". The same argument can be said for information, at least conclusions, from the EDI.

    3. Regardless, their data completely supports my argument, not yours. Notice were the link between "productivity" and "hourly compensation" breaks? IS it in 1981 when Reagan became President? No, it is precisely in the era when the post-World War II economic infrastructure broke down. The US could no longer meet the obligations it undertook as part of the Bretton Woods Agreement, i.e. it could no longer freely convert dollars to gold at $35/ounce and act as a true global currency reserve. From that point on, the pressure on US competitiveness was maximized and the rest of the world started to undercut the US.

    4. Two other factors to keep in mind. First, you need to take the value "hourly wage" with a grain of salt. There are many different ways of calculating this number and starting in this era the government started creating many "non-hourly wage" compensation costs and tightening wages. When this paper shows "total compensation" the gap tightens significantly. Second, you need to factor in another competitive pressure that was happening at the same time that few people talk about (you try to imply the good old days when a man could support a family, etc, etc). But, starting in the late 1960's and accelaerating in the 1970s women entered the work force in much larger numbers and directly competed with men in many occupations that htye had not before.

    5. Most of these "income inequality" studies are biased because they utilize bad data. To be more exact, they do not adequately compensate for the changes in income reporting that occured in the 1980's. Prior to this time, most of the income derived from what are today "SubChapter S-Corps" was not reported as personal income. But, most income inequality studies that purport to show this massive jump in inequality fail to account for this change.

    6. Income inequality is one of the dumbest economic arguments out there from the left.

  13. mesaeconoguy:

    Bullshit argument.

    Nobody paid the top rates, due to the loopholes (now gone).

    What we're doing now is your regressive dream - high spending, high taxes, and massive welfare state.

    Enjoying your 14% unemployment yet, regressive?

  14. ganganelli:

    1. We beat this dead horse up. I maintain that trade made up an insignificant percentage of economic activity. I need to prove this point so I'll have to come back to it later when I can find the data.

    2. I disagree that the Economic Policy Institute is anything like Fox News. Maybe Heritage or Cato but not Fox news.

    3. You need to explain the mechanism by which not being able to convert dollars to gold at $35.00 an ounce would put pressure on US competitiveness and allow the rest of the world to undercut the US. Otherwise, it is simply post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    4. What specifically changed to make me take the value of "hourly wage" with a grain of salt? We know the value of the minimum wage is now at it's lowest real value since 1950 so I'd like more information on this. Also, were women forced into the workforce due to the declining wages of their husbands? That's the case for most of the women I know. Almost to a woman, they would rather stay at home.

    5. Why did we jump to income inequality? We were talking about how in the high tax, high union post WWII era compensation and productivity were tightly linked providing huge increases in living standards.

    6. Overall I agree. If a rising tide is lifting all boats, I don't really care about income inequality. The problem is that you have to be a high IQ individual with a job in certain specific sectors in order to make a decent living. That wasn't the case post-WWII.

  15. ganganelli:

    Get lost Teahadist. Yes if a hypothetical martian landed in the Hamptons he would certainly say, "Oh my God, socialism is killing you guys." What a buffoon.

  16. mesaeconoguy:

    Stunning reply, troll.

    I take it your 14% unemployment is NOT what you intended?

    Funny how that works, moron.

  17. ganganelli:

    Nice. So the labor force participation rate peaked under President Clinton and has been declining ever since. But weren't those Bush tax cuts supposed to create jobs and prosperity? Like I said up thread, what a buffoon.

  18. mesaeconoguy:

    Let’s see, ummmmm, wrong.

    1. What’s more, 3.5% GDP growth (Bush), or 1% (Obama)?

    2. Not a demographic trend:

    Piss-poor attempt, regressive.

  19. mesaeconoguy:

    Do you realize how insipid your response is, Ms. Antoinette?

    Everybody lives in the fucking Hamptons.

    If that’s the case, then why do we need Obamascare, dumbass?

  20. mesaeconoguy:

    To be fair, Doddering-Frankenstein also has something to do with this horrible jobless recovery, along with the explosion of the regulatory state.

    Only leftist regressives can have data staring them in the face, and draw completely erroneous conclusions.

  21. mlhouse:

    1. On the matters of pre-WWII world trade issues you are obviously trying to BS your way on somethng that is way over your head. To claim that world trade was immaterial is simply ignorant. Sorry. Proof: British Dominions. World trade was a major economic factor in between the war and for good reason most economist felt it was a major issue in the worlds problems. To name two more significant issues related to trade you had the massive inter-Allied debt situation (remember Great Britain and France defaulted on their loans that the US made during the war) and the massive German reparations that the Paris 1919 Treaty inflicted on the Germans. Again, if the horse is dead it is because you simply do not know what you are talking about.

    2. The EPI is a hack partisan outfit.

    3. When your currency is the world reserve currency it creates many advantages and to a very great extent it isolates your country from the some negative ramifications. One of the main ones is that to solve any economic problems you just create more dollars. That works when about 90% of the worlds production capabilities and 85% of the gold reserves are in your hands. But other countries catch up. And as they created more favorable balance of trade situations with the US, in the Bretton Wood system gold would be transferred to their countries vaults at a fix ed rate of $35/ounce. Keep the dollars flowing and and you get economic growth. But suddenly other countries started to draw away the gold until the United States could no longer mainatin this system. They closed the gold window and went to floating rates. This gave the US the competitive tool of devaluation of the dollar but in a floating exchange rate regime the massive competitive advanatages of the United States flowed away and world trade moved to the best competitors. Again, this is an argument that is way over your head.

    5. First, hourly wage is an artifical measure. It is a statistic. It has a standard deviation. TO represent everything with this one statistic makes the analysis more limited. Second, this measure is being done by a group that has an obvious bias. Third, hourly wage is a very narrow definition of compensation. Fourth, representing compensation as direct does not take the indirect compensation that occured rapidly in the 1970's because of massive regulation and other mandates dictaed by government.

    6. The concept of why womenwere in the workforce is unimportant. THe fact that there were more domestic workers that competed for jobs is the only salient issue. It is just politically correct to say this, but women entering the workforce in the US put major downward pressure on compensation. That the US economy has done as well as it has is amazing.

  22. ganganelli:

    1. You keep bringing up trade as it relates to the macro-economy. My only point about trade is that it had an insignificant impact on our ability to have a high wage economy. Your point would be valid if we were importing 20 percent of GDP before the war and then all of sudden, because our competitors were destroyed, that dropped to 5 percent. Nothing like that happened!

    2. Ipse Dixit. Cato, Heritage, and Fox News are hack partisan outfits. See I can do it too.

    3. Wall of BS with absolutely no evidence to back it up. In fact, imports as a percentage of GDP start rapidly rising in 1965 well before the gold window closes and continue unabated to the current day.

    5 and 6. Your goose is cooked. Your earlier claim that we needn't worry about having Americans live in factory dorms to compete with the Chinese because of productivity is completely contradicted by your statement that women entering the workforce puts downward pressure on compensation. Absolutely, more people in the workforce puts downward pressure on compensation. And women entering the workforce is no different then Chinese "entering the workforce" which of course they do because of trade. And unlike the small influence of trade in the post war period, imports now make up close to 20 percent of GDP!

    In the end, I pointed out we had a period of unprecedented prosperity following WWII. That period was characterized by low trade, high unionization, high taxation on the wealthy, and high wages that could support a man and his wife on one income. We could easily see it again if only we adopt the same policies.

  23. mlhouse:

    1. I keep bringing up trade as it relates to the macro-economy? LOL. Of curse it does. My point is valid regardless. Global monetary issues were important drivers in all of the post-WWI economic and social problems. The primary world economic power, Great Britain was driven to its knees because of the run on pound sterling after they went back to the gold standard after the war. The overvalued pound sterling caused a major balance of payment problem that crippled their economy. World trade was not significant huh?

    2. Likewise, the Germans had major problems with reparations after WWI and limited ability to make the payments. There are two ways to make payments. First, you trade and acquire currency reserves. Second, you deflate. The Germans deflated and the resulting hyperinflation of the Mark drove their economy down and was a factor in creating WWII. World trade was not significant, what???/

    3. LOL at your "wall of BS claims". You dont even know what you are talking about. IMPORTS as a percentage of GDP rapidly climbing meant the creation of balance of payments problems. Foreigners now had more dollars than they wanted, so they tradedtheir dollars for gold. Massive gold outflows was the consequence. The US, financing large government and an expensive war wanted to create more dollars than the world wanted based on the new realities of trade. Something had to give. So, when Nixon was president he closed the gold window. I agree with that policy choice and I am not a supporter of the gold standard. By creating floating exchange rates wee have enhanced world trade which has improved the standard of living of all across the globe. At the same time, the obvious consequences of this were the destruction of overpriced, union dominated industries in the US as production capacity moved to lower cost producers.

    4. Well, if US productiviyt fell to Chinese or Indian levels then that would be the economic reality.. Fortunatley, the US has competitive advantages that still keeps our worker productivity high and thus our relative wages are higher, at least on a macrolevel. THere clearly are segments of the world economy were this is no longer the case with textiles being just one example.

    5. My goose is cooked??? Seriously? More competition depressed wages. That is why after 1970 on your data the relationship between "productivity" and "comepansation" changed. I don't totally agree with the magnitude that your data shows, but the general trend is a fact. The reason why US compensation of low end workers have stagnated is that more US workers (expanded work force because of women and I might add immigrants) are in the workforce and foreign competition. If you disagree you are a moron. I dont really think you are a total moron, just ignorant and you are discussing things beyond your depth of understanding.

  24. ganganelli:

    Getting closer to agreement. Mostly minor quibbles to follow:

    1 and 2. My ONLY point on the entire trade issue is that we were not "competing" with the outside world to any significant effect BEFORE the war. It's not more complicated than that. Just stop saying that we were able to have our high wage economy because our competitors were destroyed. It just isn't the case.

    3. Your first part regarding balance of payments and gold outflows makes perfect sense. But I don't see how it follows that the closing of the gold window to stop those outflows makes "overpriced", union dominated industries noncompetitive. What does the "high" cost of labor in US industries have to do with the Bretton Woods system? It seems to me that, bretton woods or not, if companies can move to lower cost countries they will.

    4. I think your case is overstated here. What are our competitive advantages that will ensure the non-high IQ kid will be able to make a decent living?

    5. Of course I don't disagree with anything here. It's been my entire point all along. More supply of labor from any source including immigration, trade and women entering the workforce will put downward pressure on compensation.

  25. mlhouse:

    1. Our competitors WERE destroyed. The British Empire was essentially bankrupt. Germany and Japan were literally flattened and/or burned out. The social and economic dislocation of almost all the world was total. Except for the United States. At the end of the war the US controlled almost all of the productive means and almost all of the financial resources of the globe. From this, the Bretton Woods financial system created an enviroment that at least for a finite time the US would dominate world production. Dollars would flow to European and Asian countries via various means (Marshall Plan for example) and these countries would us those dollars to buy American goods or services (which is all dollars can do).

    2. Since there literally was no competition for products like automobiles, steel, chemicals, petroleum products and even agricultural staples and a virtually unlimited demand for US products, the Bretton Woods system allowed the "high wage-high employment" boom times of the near post-war era.

    3. This system could be maintained as long as the US could create more supplies of dollars. But, as the decades passed from the end of WWII other nations became more and more competitive, the supply of dollars from a highly inflationary economy became acute, and the US was forced to leave its ecnomic cocoon and compete against the real world without the safety net of simply producing more dollars.

    4. The proof of this is in the pudding. Look at how the high wage union industries lost most or all market share to foreign competitors: textiles, steel, automobiles, ship building, electronics. Other industries have thrived and the decline in US manufacturing is totally overstated. But these industries are not union dominated.

    5. THe fact of life is that a non-high IQ kid will NOT be able to make a decent living based on the utilizing the anti-productivity structure of the old smokestack unions. TO make a living such a person needs to work their asses off and there are ways to do that: trades and construction. But again, in many of htose cases their paths are blocked by union workers that are protected by obsolete work rules.

    6. An alternative argument I make to the claims of the benefits of union (even the outlandish claims that UNIONS BUILT THE MIDDLE CLASS), is consider the case of long shoreman. They are perhaps the most militant of all unions and it pays. Their rurf is protected because of the violents and destruction they threaten or undertake, and how suseptible the economy is to their work stoppages. The average pay of a longshoreman is in excess of $100,000/year. But where would the middle class be if instead of paying one man that wage, we paid two people $50,000 with reasonable fringe? I say we would be much further ahead.

    7. And your final point simply negates your entire premise. The success of the US economy was not BECAUSE of 91% tax brackets and high union wages. It was successful DESPITE them because of the unique position the United Stats was in after WWII. point. But that situation was not sustainable. Soon both external andinternal competitive forces made industry and workers in that situation vulnerable. Few survived. Your recipe, which is just a parrotting of Paul Krugman is nothing but a plan of economic disaster.

  26. ganganelli:

    It's getting late but I will respond again in the hopes of further understanding.

    1. Everyone agrees that they were wiped out because of the war and yet both imports and exports were about 5% of GDP for 20+ years following the war. A measly 5% of GDP.

    2. Absolutely, and 95 percent of those things were sold to OURSELVES.

    3. Disagree here. Producing more dollars didn't matter. What did matter was that Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan and Germany employed mercantilist policies to develop their own automobile, steel, chemicals, etc. industries with an eye to gaining access to the American market. Then came China and their mercantilist policy was to entice US based industries to relocate with access to their cheap labor. To a lesser extent, Mexico did the same. The US of course allowed and facilitated this with various "free trade" deals.

    4. Not really surprising is it? If you're a ship builder and you have access to workers willing to work for peanuts, why wouldn't you leave? Manufacturing employment has fallen off a cliff in the last 35 years so I don't know which industries you think are thriving.

    5. Private sector unionization has fallen to about 6% now. That kid with a low IQ isn't likely to be thwarted in anything he wants to do with a 6% unionization rate.

    6. Longshoremen make a 100 grand a year but what do guys like lawyers and optometrists make? People like to complain about unions but what about "Big Government" requiring lawyers to have an advanced degree and pass the bar in order to practice law. Or freaking optometrists for Christ's sake....the state requires 8 years of schooling and a license so the guy can have you read a chart and tell you that you need glasses? Give me a break. What if we cut the lawyer's salary in half and gave 60 grand to two people? I don't think that would go over to well with the ABA.

    7. While I don't think the 91 percent tax rate caused the economy to boom, it certainly didn't stop it. And I am convinced that the high unionization rate ABSOLUTELY contributed to the boom as unions were primarily responsible for ensuring that the compensation stayed lock step in line with productivity gains.

    8. My recipe is to re-create the conditions of the post war period without obviously the destruction in other countries. Import substitution and tariff policies to bring back all the work that has been offshored. High unionization rates like they have in Scandinavia to ensure that the link between compensation and productivity is restored and higher taxes on people that use the government for rent seeking. Whether that be lawyers, optometrists or anyone else. Finally, I'd crack down on both legal and illegal immigration and oppose any effort at amnesty.

    Once the economy was booming again with good wages for all willing to work I'd decimate the disability program, food stamp program and any other welfare program that contributes to idleness and shiftlessness. My guess is we'd be able to reduce taxes across the board if my program was implemented.

  27. mlhouse:

    1. You obviously have zero understanding of history or economics to really discuss this matter further. You completely blow over the intense problems international trade and finance had and continue to rest your case on simple trade figures. TO put the argument to rest I will go back to the concept of the "British Dominions". If you do not think that what is true international trade was of UTMOST priority to the British Empire, the most dominant economic force of the pre-WWII world, then you are an idiot, or probably more accurately a reasonably smart person that is too stubborn to move on from their preexisting thoughts when confronted with overwhelming evidence.

    2. All of your talk about "mercantilist" this and workers willing to work for peanuts just undercuts your entire argument. Again, you are too stubborn to move on from them. The fact is 91% tax rates (which were more posted rates than anything else) and high union participation were not the CAUSE of American prosperity after WWII. That happend DESPITE those conditions. I have demonstrated why and also demonstrated why the same conditions do not hold. They were UNSUSTAINABLE. They are non-competitive.

    3. While I agree that GOVERNMENT regulation of trades such as the legal and optomotetry profession are probably overdone, as are most government regulations, the fact isthe supply of labor for the skills required to be a longshoreman is much higher than the suppl of labor for the skills required to be a lawyer. WHen you need legal advice I don't think you are going to go down to the docks and find someone to represent you, while you could substitute just about any warm body and get the same labor productivity as the unionized longshoreman. That goes for just about every unionized job. There is a reason for this: THAT IS THE UNIONS JOB. They limit an employers supply of labor to a specified pool controlled by the labor union.

    4. AS far as your plan for the economy, it is simply wrong. THe only way that your plan can work is if you believe that the government can allocate capital better than the private markets. THere is zero chance of that. And here is why. One little talked about microeconomic concept is the idea of consumer surplus. If you draw a supply and demand graph, in a free market the price of a commodity is the price were the supply and demand curves intersect. But, at this market clearing price there are many consumers that would willingly have paid a much higher price for the product than what the market price of the product is (and NO consumers that would be willing to pay a lower price). The sum of all of their excess "utility" is called consumer surplus. But outside of the free market this is impossible. Even if, which is doubtful, you could staff your govenremnt with the BEST information and decision makers, governments do not operate as markets. They operate as political entities. So, instead of the consumers that want the product the most (lets say investment capital) they allow political insiders and political favorites to the front of the line (Terry McCaullife anyone?), maybe if it is just to correct a perceived wrong (like racism). This causes resourses to be misallcated with disasterous results for the overall economy. THe entire history of the past 100 years has proven this beyond any doubt.

  28. ganganelli:

    I'm sorry. I can't take anything you said seriously after your comment that you could find any warm body to do the work of a longshoreman but NOT a lawyer. A lawyer? Ha ha ha ha.

  29. mlhouse:

    Seriously????? They say that only a fool represents themselves, but if you want a longshoreman to represent you then you are a dense fool.
    I am in total agreement that our legal system needs to be reformed. The worker compensation, malpractice, class action and tort standards in this country are a joke.
    One thing I find hilarious is that as a union supporter you are attacking what are essentially the union activities of these guilds. Like unions, the legal and medical profession control supply by creating legal requirements for practice and limiting the number of slots in the professional schools.
    Lastly, again, to my point about the unionization of blue collar workers. You worry about "low IQ" workers trying to find jobs in the modern economy that has very little need or value of their skills. Yet, you support unionization which eliminates many of those opportunities. Like I said, I think the economy benefits from hiring TWO non-union longshoreman at $50,000/year and reasonable rather than just one union dufus at $100,000 with gold plated benefits. The macro impact is absolutely equal because $100,000 is earned, spent, and invested in both scenarios. The advantages are obvious. Overall productivity is increased, shipping costs that impact almost everything are reduced, and one additional family has been added to the middle class that would never get the opportunity since they probably were not related to the union boss. And, since labor unions are the last bastion of minority discrimination in the country, this gives minorities an equal chance at having these jobs.

  30. ganganelli:

    No...I want a well trained longshoreman to do his job and I want anyone of MY choosing to represent me in court. Most lawyers I've met are complete morons which stands to reason since they need Big Daddy government to pass rules and regs so that they get that government seal of approval.

    Furthermore, as I stated, private sector unionization is down to 6%. What is the percentage of people using government to limit supply to their goods or services in some way or another? Lawyers, engineers, dentists, doctors, pharmacists.

    I agree with you on the longshoremen. Let's have 2 of them at 50k like you said but let's not pretend that we're talking about a big issue when it's 6% of the workforce. Let's see if your consistent or a hypocrite. Go after those guilds with the same ferocity you take on the unions. Let's just say.....I won't be holding my breath.

  31. mlhouse:

    I think I just did. I believe we need legal reform starting with major tort and malpractice reform, reducing the ability for class action lawsuits, and changing our ridiculous worker compensation laws. Another reform would be to radically change certain legal practices, like divorce, that removes most of the legal shenanigans and allows the divorce process to be completed with minimal contact with lawyers.
    For the medical profession we need to implement a return to a more simpler, fee for service paid for by the user/consumer for most routine medical needs. This would utilize a wider range of medical talent, pushing the routine care down several levels utilizing more nurse practioners, nurses, and other non-doctor staff.
    But, this is difficult, if not impossible, to do with the current way our health care system is structured. When a 3rd party is the primary payer and malpractice hangs over the head of every physician, it can't be done.
    And, I am a Republican. According to most conservatives I am probably a RINO, but I support lower taxes, reduced and more efficient government, and realistic foreign policy which places the interests of the United States first. That is 99% of politics, most of the other stuff I can care less. But, ask yourself who is the party that protects the lawyers???? It certainly aint the GOP.

  32. ganganelli:

    Why should you have to get a law degree and pass the government mandated bar exam in order to practice law?

  33. mlhouse:

    Why should a private business be required to only negotiate with the longshoreman's union representatives?

  34. ganganelli:

    Seems I've touched a nerve. You wouldn't happen to belong to a government subsidized profession sucking off of that government teet are you?

  35. mlhouse:

    That I am a lawyer? Heavens no. But my question back is an answer to your question. Why should a private business be required by law to only negotiate with a union? Unions and lawyers, it is the same rent seeking behavior.
    And, in my opinion, the requirement that lawyers pass the bar exam at least has a rational basis and is a long standing historical practice. Lawyers practice at the bar in courts funded and operated by the government. The government, in playing the role of a fair arbitrator of justice, can make a reasonable demand that the parties before the court are adequately represented. Maybe law school is overkill, but any barrister should have a fundamental knowledge of legal procedure and form, as well as legal precedent.
    But, for the most part, I agree with you. A party should have the right to be represented by whomever they choose and the court should have to respect that. The way to do this in real life is to give a person that right but if they make a choice of a person that has not passed the bar they lose the right to appeal on inadequate representation.

  36. ganganelli:

    You know we're never going to agree, right? I basically want a society where the government is helping people on the wrong side of the IQ bell curve. I want this mainly for selfish reasons because I prefer to live in a society where I don't have to put bars on my windows.

    In other words, I don't want to live in right wing Peru which has one of the lowest tax and spending regimes in the world but looks like a war zone. I tried to post a link to a google street view of Lima but it didn't work. Any way, check it out for your self. Randomly select a street in Lima, Peru and then look at the street's horrifying.

  37. mlhouse:

    Whatever that means. If you want to help people on the wrong side of the IQ bell curve then choosing a high tax government is by far the worst way of doing it. High taxes and over unionization only eliminate opportunities for these unfortunates. Like I said, from your point of view, how can you justify paying ONE longshoreman over $100,000 with gold plated benefits rather than 2 people at $50,000/year with a reasonable benefit package?
    As far as the "war zone", I just returned from San Francisco one of the premier cities in the US, despite the fact that many of their blocks look like bombed out third world cities. I literally had to step over a homeless person sprawled across the sidewalk. That this happens in the most liberal of US cities basically invalidates your point. [Sidenote: while I was in SF the BART workers went on strike. The average starting salary for a BART reception clerk (someone that helps you with your ticket information) is $60,000. . My point again, except for the person that is getting a salary far above the market wage becaue they are randomly in a union, how would not just about everyone else be better off if the average starting salary was $30,000? More employment: check. Reasonable wage: check. More overall productivity: check. Lower transportation costs: check.]

  38. ganganelli:

    Ok....every city in SF is street view mapped. Where were you? I'd like to look it up.

  39. mlhouse:

    You need to look it up? You obviously have never been to San Francisco. Do some street views of Market St. One block will look like a premier retail block, the next is filled with homeless and bums and worse.

  40. ganganelli:

    I was only in SF once. Had to visit a vendor in Berkeley so didn't get to stay long in SF itself but all the places I did see were really nice. In fact, I didn't run into anything that looked as bad as Maryvale here in Phoenix. Ok...I'll look up Market St.