Is Ten the New Normal?

In a recent interview, President Barack Obama worried aloud that 10% unemployment might be the new normal. The more I thought about this, the more uneasy I became. Our current financial crisis has been called the worst since the Great Depression. A lot has changed since then and the changes are not conducive to a speedy recovery.

Globalization of the Economy

This is not the 1930’s. We are all interconnected now. We have a global economy and a global workforce. If you can’t find workers who suit your needs domestically, you look abroad. In particular, if you can’t find workers who will work on the cheap domestically, you look abroad. Outsourcing to India, Brazil and China is making rich executives even richer. They get cheap labor with sharp skills. In some cases, the cost savings even makes a skill sacrifice worthwhile. A company that I follow closely regularly sacrifices getting the job done well so that they can get it done cheap.

Doing More with Less

The corporate mantra of the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been increased efficiency. Companies finding themselves “up against it” start cutting jobs and asking those who remain, to work harder. When the system does not break, the corporate executive brags about higher efficiency and sees no need to go back to the days of three men doing three men’s work. This was a factor called out explicitly by Obama in a recent interview. It is an aspect of corporate behavior that gets ignored when we talk about job creation in the United States.

Democratization of the Stock Market

There was a time when only the wealthy bought stocks. A show like CNBC’s “Mad Money” would have had an audience in the thousands at best. Thanks in large part to the Internet and online trading platforms, now everybody and his mother is a stock owner. What is worse is that for many of these folks it has nothing to do with the old-fashioned values of “owning a piece of the company”. Now it’s gambling pure and simple. In the old days, the formula was simple. If you pleased your customers, you made money and you had happy investors. Now, investors desires and customer’s desires don’t always coincide. The priority of many companies is pleasing the investor at the expense of the worker and potentially the customer. Look at how a company’s stock behaves right after a layoff announcement. More often than not, the company gets a nice bump. Good behavior no longer correlates to better stock price because too many of the buyers have more on their minds than good corporate behavior.

The End of Empathy

February 19, 2009 was a watershed moment when CNBC analyst Rick Santelli launched a rant from the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Only recently have I seen journalists wake up to the wild irony of someone yelling and screaming for the “common man” surrounded by the symbolism of the most wealthy people in the world, i.e. the floor of a stock exchange. Despite the cognitive dissonance of this display, the rant was heard all over the country, and is credited with igniting the Tea Party movement. Here is the money quote (no pun intended):

How about this, Mr. President and new administration. Why don’t you put up a website to have people vote on the internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers mortgages? Or would they like to at least buy cars, buy a house that is in foreclosure … give it to people who might have a chance to actually prosper down the road and reward people that can carry the water instead of drink the water?

This is America!

How many people want to pay for your neighbor’s mortgages that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills?
Raise their hand!

“Subsidize the losers mortgages”, “reward people that can carry the water instead of drink the water” and “your neighbor’s mortgages that has an extra bathroom and can’t pay their bills”. This was the new social currency delivered from the CME by Mr. Santelli. Did he give any thought to why someone might not be able to pay their bills? Did he entertain the notion that in a civil society, we help our neighbor? Did it occur to him that maybe decent living is not about winners and “losers”? Well of course not. He’s in the business of making money and money has become our God. Empathy is over. If you don’t have enough money, you must have done something wrong. You’re a loser and to hell with you.

So what this means is that corporate America no longer has the moral imperative to put Americans back to work. It’s each man for himself and the corporation is the big man on campus. If they don’t make as much money as humanly possible, then they are the losers in the Santelli model. Better they be winners with cheap Indian labor than losers employing out-of-work Americans, who again by Santelli’s yardstick are losers themselves.

All these factors contribute to an environment in which corporations have zero incentive to do serious hiring of unemployed Americans. What troubles me and what should deeply trouble our President is that we live in a country where unemployment is no longer everyone’s problem. It is only the problem of the unemployed. There is no stimulus program that can change a nation’s mindset. There is no action that the Fed can take that can make it a virtue to put America back to work. As long as the winners keep winning, who cares what happens to the losers? And with that, 10% does indeed become the new normal.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

 

Advertisements

135 thoughts on “Is Ten the New Normal?

  1. You know Rutherford,

    I might have given you kudos for this one until I got to the Santelli part, and I suddenly realized the tone of “social justice” and a little bit of victim mentality. You had it about right until then.

    Now I suppose you and I are in the same boat, as I suppose I’m considered the unemployed, though not actively seeking employment at this moment (though I should be). And probably more than anybody that frequents your board, I understand all too well the shortcomings of corporate America, how people get stiffed, how you got screwed over by greedy executives.

    But, and this is a big but…I didn’t make the same choices many did. I’m not looking for society to bail me out because I spent too much, got greedy, got caught up in buying more than I could afford, even made the mistake of attempting to change careers before realizing I was a real dumb ass for leaving my cozy but unsatisfying career.

    So I think you missed Santelli’s point. Obama and his minions are not asking all of us to demonstrate empathy – your demanding that we share the wealth. And there’s a difference – one is a choice; the other enforced. So while many were living large and got burned, the Left is now in essence demanding those that played by the rules to bail the hustlers, utilizing big brother to do the dirty work. And the people have rebelled.

    I’m having a real hard time working up much sympathy for upper middle class individuals who were living like multimillionaires, only to lose their jobs, probably never to return. They need to live with their decisions.

    So there is some truth to your statements. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. But Obama provides absolutely no incentive for business to hire. Contrary to popular opinion, American business is not under regulated; it’s way over regulated. So every time you guys pass a new regulation, demand a higher tax, create a bigger uncertainty with FICA, and demonize a business, you can guarantee that fewer people will be hired. Obama is his own worst enemy, because he is not qualified to lead.

    One point and I’ll call it a night.

    Here’s what I think has changed about the stock market – and in my opinion, it’s killing it – institutional investors. Because frankly, only a small percentage of stock holders (owners) vote anymore, and when they do, it’s set up to vote for the Director’s recommendations.

    I’ll share a lot more about business and the stock market as the thread unfolds because this is an interesting post.

  2. I think that they were so close already, this last election has driven many of them to the brink…

    Allegedly set off by Bristol Palin’s appearance on “Dancing with the Stars,” a rural Black Earth man kept police at bay outside his home for 15 hours Monday and Tuesday before he surrendered to police.

    Steven N. Cowan, 66, railed at the television as the daughter of former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin appeared on the ABC program, his wife told police Monday after she fled from the town of Vermont house, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

    😈

  3. Taking care of your neighbor includes the expectation that your neighbor not fuck you in the process.

    I appreciate your righteous anger. Really, I do. However, have you not once considered that after two years of liberal economic policy, and the continued deterioration of the financial situation, that maybe it’s the medicine that’s making us sicker than the disease itself?

    Is it too much to ask that we balance our budgets and buy what we can afford?

  4. Unemployment is more like 20%… I love Rick Santelli! Send him to Congress.. This country is messed up.. It’s the social ‘classes’.. People have been pigeonholed holed into them.. some forced others by choice.

    All in all, the problem is class envy.. Everyone wants that refrigerator in the garage filled with beer and steak. Women want those manicured fake nails and DRY cleaned wardrobes. Men want ‘perfect’ barbie doll women.. and all their toys. The focus today and for the past 20 years.. children are just assets.. to show off and compare.

    The USA has the HIGHEST violent crime stat against children in the world! All are in denial. This country today is a dangerous place to bring up a child ‘normally’. We treat our criminal better than our senior citizens. Send the criminals to the nursing homes and the senior to our prisons. Maybe they there they may get ‘rehabilitated’..

  5. Globalization of the Economy

    1) The US cannot compete with China or India in the manufacture of widgets. It’s prime area of competitiveness has to be in technology of all kinds. Regrettably we are failing there as well. Educational funding is going down and down. “Educated elites” are criticized. Political and religious calculations are allowed to overrule observable fact (that’s what science does). Any day in the Tulsa World you see the anti-education crowd. The arguments differ but the conclusion is always the same – cut spending – in a state where spending is already 48th. The dumb support dumbness.

    2) At least stop the kind of subsidies to job exporters that the National Chamber of Commerce flogs.

    Doing More with Less

    It’s an act of corporate behavior that is ultimately suicidal – no buyers – no sales – no corporation.

    Not only that the corporation loses skill – often from its most experience employees. The CEO may not see that but the rest do. At one point I was paid a boatload of money to leave a company. As a part of my next job at the company smart enough to see I have valuable skills, several folks from the old company told me that I was missed. And I was – they literally had no internal source of expertise to go to anymore.

    Democratization of the Stock Market

    Well I think democratization of stock ownership in theory is a good thing. It is still a lot less democratic than many might believe. Stock ownership is heavily tilted to the rich.

    There are certainly parts of the tax code and investment bank that could be changed to discourage this behavior. (Low tax rates for hedge funds) .

    The recent mortgage fiasco – thanks Goldman Sacks, Countrywide et. al. Regrettably they did a pretty good job of blocking the real reform that is needed.

    The End of Empathy

    Yes Mr. Santelli is dead wrong. For several reasons.

    1) The US has been a consumer economy for most of the last century – thank-you Henry Ford. Kill off the consumers and all die. They need jobs with decent wages. States with high minimum wages have healthier economies…

    2) Sorry I don’t buy the bank crisis was caused by consumers. How many mortgages did Countrywide grind out a day? How many do you have in a lifetime? Did you read and understand every word of the mortgages you signed? Who should have had the fiduciary responsibility? DUH.

    3) Even beyond that probably the largest single challenge for the country right now is unwinding the mortgage crisis at all levels. As long is that is hanging over heads from main street to Wall Street the economy will not be healthy. Japan did not do that – and they are still sick. Yes a lot of folks and institutions are going to take a bath – they need to be forced to do it now – not latter. There is a whole lot less “value” there to spread around. At the time folks complained bitterly about the S&L bailout. It eliminated the problem – it was the correct thing to do.

  6. Doggie.. WAKE UP.. the Tulsa WORLD is a private forum! It is managed by a spinster and her jester. They cleaned out all the sane and smart posters. SAD.. because it is a nice forum set up. If you examine the groups.. all is there.. SEX is the main topic there.

    They don’t want people to get the TRUTH.. or even look into issues.

    I don’t know how many times I will post this.. but CONSUMERS are US… and the BANKS. EVERYONE.. What killed our economy was GREED.. at the TOP. It started with Clinton.. he killed some ACTS.. which would of prevented the crash..Glass-Steagall Act! Clinton wanted to INCREASE the demand in the housing market.. People then monopolized on his actions.. as they do today with OBAMA.

    The checks and balances are askewed. Christina Romer quit because She saw the crap that is going down with the STOCK MARKET.. Here she would tell OBAMA the truth.. and what happens.. nothing. NO one goes to Jail.. only the poor go to jail.

    I just read more BANKS are going to close.. Sheila isn’t through… because there are trillions of worthless swaps sitting in the faults. They are insolvent!!!!! The TARP bandaid is coming off.

    You cannot force people to BUY.. with the most manipulative tools out there.. FEAR is untouchable. Here we have 0% and people still will NOT BUY.. FEAR.. Banks will not lend out $$ to companies because they know they will go belly up. Banks are in business to make MONEY like any other institution.. Profit is what it is all about.. and Warren Buffet is the winner!

    Here Obama has even bailed out GM.. what do they do with OUR cash. they build a plant in Mexico!!! What a waste!

    The markets today are FAUX.. people are just reacting and getting short term gains.

    The country is in a DEPRESSION..

  7. The sky is not falling – but it could. It nearly did two years ago. There was genuine fear the the voices of smart economists. TARP pulled it out temporarily . Now we need to go after the structural causes – that is far from done.

  8. Say What…

    I took a look at the T-World blog yesterday and it’s a joke. Bruce Plante is a disgrace, Mike Jones still completely stupid, and the only thing worth reading is the sport’s picker.

    There aren’t five regular posters there than can even construct a sentence, let alone spell correctly. And apparently they stifled practically ran every Conservative voice and ran them right out of that forum. I’d say the lib count was 10-1, mostly juvenile insults on par with the Yeller Dawg mentality. I noticed the comment count was way down too.

    Who is it exactly that moderates that forum? It’s got to be a hardcore pinko from the left, because what remains is the most brain dead of whackos, and the occasional Conservative comment(s) which go almost unnoticed and unchallenged.

    Seriously, a Yahoo board reads better.

  9. Tex, the moderators on the TW are Rusty Lang and Jason Collington is the jester.. I do not exaggerate here. Majority of posters are sock puppets. Rusty was the moderator and managed the forum. I do not know about today. She is a Liberal feminist and an alpha female on the forums. Jason does sports.. today.

    Are you the holliday.. and Bill on the newsok? I think you were the keyboard cowboy too. Ha ha. I never posted when you were on.. The dog and graychin were good posters on there… along with some others like AYO, IMO.. all liberals. But then you had some good cons as well… which made the discussions very very interesting.

    For me liberal or con doesn’t matter.. WE ARE ALL Americans!

    I hate the fact that the country has been divided with this shit.. I do not like Socialism.. but we live in a REPUBLIC today.. which has socialism on it’s agenda.. heck WELFARE is socialism. I say get rid of it. Get rid of income tax.. It’s against the constitution. All should pay a fair tax… yes even the POOR. If you use the road, then pay your due.

  10. bvilleyellowdog | November 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    The sky is not falling – but it could. It nearly did two years ago. There was genuine fear the the voices of smart economists. TARP pulled it out temporarily . Now we need to go after the structural causes – that is far from done
    ===
    Doggie.. don’t you remember what folks would call me two years ago.. Chicken Little.. I remember!! Two years ago, I posted on the TW about the ‘stuff’.. I hope some listen and changed their 401Ks back then.. when oil was at 150/barrel. Remember I told you about the lay-off soon to come and the Budget cuts.. within the city.. WELL.. here we are. Tulsa is holding on by the threads.. for heaven sakes.. fire and police were CUT! Have you noticed the CRIMES..

    The media sugar coats everything.. Fallen will have a lot to DO..

    I’m glad I don’t live in Tulsa. Just wait until the first of the year.. taxes will go UP there.. and then some!!

  11. Tex, if one should get anything out of this post it is that I don’t believe our employment troubles can be fixed with deficit cuts and fiscal reform. There is a mood in the country, propped up by folks like Santelli, that makes hiring Americans a low priority. Writing people off, devaluing them, making them simply “resources” … that mind-set is not conducive to employing the unemployed.

    Since this thread is likely to get personal sooner or later, we might as well get it over with. I am hard on myself regarding my financial situation because I am hard on myself always. Whenever anything in my life goes wrong, I tend to look inward first to see what could I have done to avoid it.

    With that said, on the face of it, I did nothing wrong. I presented honest wage documentation to my bank. They gave me a mortgage. Had they been properly risk-averse they would have said “we cannot give you a mortgage that comes close to half of what you and your wife make monthly and in fact, eats up almost all of your (Rutherford’s) paycheck.” They did not say that. I had a good job with a very secure company. I never dreamed when I signed on the dotted line that I was taking any kind of huge risk.

    That’s 2002. Fast forward to 2007 and I get laid off. My wife’s paycheck keeps us fed and clothed. The mortgage is paid out of my 401K that will be dry soon. Jobs are hard to find. My own business struggles (to put it mildly). In Rick Santelli’s world, I am a loser who deserves to be out on the street. I never asked Rick for a dime of his money. I don’t want a handout from anyone. I want income that I earn through work. But jobs are much harder to find when my skills are fulfilled by Indians, or I am deemed “overqualified” because they don’t think I’ll be satisfied with the measly salary they’re offering.

    You see, this isn’t an issue of playing the victim. This is an issue of the mindset supported by Santelli that the world is composed of winners and losers and the losers deserve everything they get. I just don’t buy that. I wanna see Santelli kicked out on the street by CNBC and then we can talk about losers. Then again, most of those guys have done such a good job of networking that they have a new job within a week anyway. I guess that’s just another aspect of my being a “loser” that I didn’t focus on building a strong professional network (of people I don’t really give a damn about but who I can “use” when the going gets rough). 👿

    OK enough personal ranting. I’ll try to stay more academic from here on in (LOL … not likely).

  12. rudy.. I share the same saga.. you are not alone.. However, I think Rick is just voicing his opinion.. here.

    Today, you will find MBA’s, Phd’s, and then ‘experienced’.. folks without JOBS.. why.. NAFTA for one thing.. and then you have the cut throats who have sucked up to Upper management telling them to cut the jugular and go with the worthless.. who can’t THINK. Look at the elected officials today. I worked at a company that was paying BIG BUCKS to people/clerks to just ‘file’.. is this fair.. NO! Here I was hired to keep my Manager as they called it ‘stacked’.. I worked there for one year.. then the politics came into play.. our company got bought out and folks were given the pink slips.

    1) Baby Boomers.. there are too many of us.. out there competing for the same jobs.
    2) The object of the game is who gets all the $$. Forget the shareholders.. they don’t have faces.
    3) Boomers will NOT take pay cuts. Nor, start all over again.

    Today the winners who have been punted take their chances on the stock market to eat.

    Ever since I got laid off.. this is what I have been doing.. just building up the portfolio.

    When you see many people blogging, you know there is HIGH unemployment. Most who post on periodicals and on-line sites are UNEMPLOYED.

    Also, if you don’t have the $$, don’t even go to the store. We downsized two years ago when I got the punt. My hub works thank god. Still, we have to readjust the lifestyle.

    Adjusting lifestyle is very hard to do with Americans including those who are WELFARE. Little do we all know.. we will be FORCED to adjust and it will not be pretty.

  13. Rutherford,

    Since this thread is likely to get personal sooner or later, we might as well get it over with. I am hard on myself regarding my financial situation because I am hard on myself always. Whenever anything in my life goes wrong, I tend to look inward first to see what could I have done to avoid it.

    Actually, I wasn’t going to make it personal. I used myself as the main example from above. You are neither a loser (obviously), nor a thief. You’re actually pretty honest and I believe very talented, minus the rank lib political propaganda. Maybe the most honest lib I’ve ever “met”, along with the late, great Jim Dougan.

    But here’s the deal Rutherford. You made a transaction of your own free will. In doing so, you took a big risk. It wasn’t the bank’s responsibility to tell you that you were living on the bleeding edge. You probably knew that. It is nobody’s responsibility but your own. I know you understand that. Your unfortunate set of circumstances has you in a pickle. I empathize – really, I do. It sucks and you were treated poorly – especially consider you were a long-term employee.

    Both you and I picked the hottest major of our day, did well enough to gain employment and make pretty good money for 15-20 years. Unfortunately, the field dried up after Y2K. It happens.

    But your story is very common. There are many professionals our age that SOL. You can either recreate yourself and attempt to start anew, or do what I did and simplify your lifestyle. I’ve found that pretty unfulfilling if you want my benefit of experience. Unfortunately, I had my attempt at “recreating”, and screwed up the second time too. Shame on me…

    If I were you, I’d sell the house, even at a huge loss to get out of debt and cover what you can even if you’re underwater. It’s a lousy investment. I have this strange feeling, your house would make mine look like a shack, but I could be wrong. But I’m sure you can live with less. You’re a talented guy that IMO is wasting his time in pursuing technology – your talents lie elsewhere.

    But I’m not convinced companies are trying to screw the little people. I believe your illustrious federal and state governments have created an environment with so much uncertainty, increased risk and regulation, hostility, and burden, corporations are simply hunkering down to survive in a global environment and weather the storm.

    Yes, there’s a small pocket of people benefiting at other’s misery. They are scumbags and will get their just due in time – but that is not representative of the large majority of employed people.

  14. You could always run for Congress, R.

    Ah yes but then I’d have unbearable lapses in my health care as GOPher Andy Harris found out the hard way. 😉

    He of course claims that reports of his hissy-fit about the gov health care that he opposes in the first place, were greatly exaggerated.

  15. Well Tex, as a final self-reference, yes in retrospect I think I was sucking every bit of luxury out of my life that I could afford, never once truly believing the income stream would suddenly end. Perhaps it goes to the old maxim “moderation in all things”. So on that score, I plead guilty.

    I’m not even blaming my bank. I’m not sure what they were using for brains but their job was to sell me the mortgage, not play nanny over me to make sure it was a wise decision. So yeah, I get that.

    In any case, my opening comment made this about ME simply to get it over with. But the article really is about more than me. And it’s really about more than Santelli, although that’s a huge part. Just the fact that businesses learned they could get as much or more done with fewer people means they ain’t goin’ back to their old ways and that spells hard times for those who need steady income.

    I think all the factors I cite work together to make the unemployment rate unchangeable. Even if I play the hard-ass and throw empathy out the window, we still have that damn cheap labor from BRIC to worry about.

  16. I think all the factors I cite work together to make the unemployment rate unchangeable. Even if I play the hard-ass and throw empathy out the window, we still have that damn cheap labor from BRIC to worry about.

    I heard the same thing in 1982. Only then it was green cards and Indians. Things may be a little more global now, but I’m telling you this is not going to last forever. And if President Barack Obama wants to improve things, he can immediately admit Obamacare is a rancid attempt that had good intent, stop the demonization of big business, cut corporate tax rates substantially, and provide incentives to hire with a promise of government providing the best environment possible for growth.

    Things would change…

    Obama is all for government – Reagan was all for business. Huge, huge difference in philosophy.

  17. Rutherford, as a fellow “loser,” I feel I have the street cred to call you out.

    The bank was stupid for betting on us. The bank should have been losers too. But, Big Nanny let them off the hook. So, they go on walking away from properties themselves and try to cast their former gambling partners as villains. Fuck ‘um.

    That being said, I sense a whiff of entitlement from you.

    You are not going to end up on the street. You are going to end up renting a nice house or maybe even buying one.

    You’re just not going to be in a 3,000 square foot house anymore. Is that such a travesty? Seriously, what in the hell do you do in all those rooms?

    Ask yourself. How many of our Grandparents lived in a 3,000 square foot house? 1%?

    The “quality of life bubble” was a sham that took 3 decades to explode.

    I’m losing my house as we speak. I’ve never been happier. The age of materialism is dead and this country is better for it.

    Yeah, we don’t go on Caribean vacations anymore.

    Families go to the park. The stands at my softball games are packed. We do simple things now. Sure, we are all under a ton of stress, but for the first time, it’s starting to feel like a community around here.

    Rutherford, you, my friend, are a part of my community.

    So fuck your mansion. Who needs it. I hate to say it, but you were never that special. You will one day be on this website arguing with the Rabbit in a smaller house. Oh the horror.

    Since your physical strength isn’t one of your comic book powers, move in the summer and I will come up and help you.

    Welcome to the true middle class. Apple Pie is an actual treat again. Shit, I’m putting oranges in my son’s Christmas stocking.

    It aint all that bad.

    Now, please tell your big government friends, I don’t want any help. I just want them to stop taking my son’s money and bailing out the banks and Wall Street. I want them to stop playing stinking finger with our currency. I don’t want them involved in my health care. Get them out of our schools. I just want to live a simple life in peace. So, please, tell them to back off.

  18. “Ah yes but then I’d have unbearable lapses in my health care as GOPher Andy Harris found out the hard way.”

    If you aren’t careful you might just end up in one of the MANY companies who are getting exemptions from ObamaCare.

  19. Tell you what Rutherford, as payment for allowing my presence on your blog and ragging you all these years, you move next summer and I’ll meet you and the Rabbit in Connecticut and help you move too, assuming your wife will have me.

    And I’ll buy you each a “something” to drink, and we’ll sit around and talk about how the content of Rabbit’s message is absolutely correct. We don’t need 70% of what we’ve got. And I’ll tell you a story later about my old roommate who now lives in a 2.5MM home here in town. Made his money franchising restaurants.

    And remember that would be a $20MM penthouse on Fifth avenue in New York.

    You need help moving and I’ll be there. Rabbit and I will carry the big stuff and I’ll give him the heavy end because he’s got bigger guns that I do. 😉

  20. Actually Rabbit, we were fully ready to downsize two years ago when the early warning signs were scary. Couldn’t sell the damn house …. sheeeeut couldn’t pay someone to take the damn house. Part lousy real estate broker, part lousy housing market. It’s gotten worse since then.

    You do make an interesting point though. Maybe when the proverbial poop really hits the fan, the Lawson’s take what little is left of our money and some bare essentials and leave the Northeast for cheaper pastures. The mortgage is like a huge dark cloud over us. I took a good look at what we could cut back elsewhere and the damn mortgage is so high, any sacrifice would hardly make a dent in it. Part of the problem is sky high real estate taxes.

    Would I miss this house? Of course. But I’d sell it in a minute for a smaller one if I could. The market has us pinned to the wall.

    All I can say is 2011 is going to be very interesting. I’ll get through it if the stress doesn’t kill me.

    P.S. Rabbit, what kills me more than anything is the possibility that my daughter will have to do without. I can’t forgive myself for that one. My parents didn’t sacrifice so I could grow up and short change my kid.

  21. Rabbit, I didn’t suffer the the fall you have. But I took a HUGE hit right towards the end of 2007. While financially crippling,it wasn’t due to the overall economy.

    The spring of 2008 called for real adjustments in lifestyle. I mean bigtime. We had to be careful at the grocery store. I worried alot.

    I scraped enough for a very modest vacation (road trip) that was planned to save as much as possible. I went camping with my family — something I hadn’t done since I was a kid. I had to borrow a tent from friends. We also stayed at modest accomodations that included a motel in a remote area that cost a fraction of the hotel I otherwise would’ve sought. We avoided eating out and went to the beach during the day, etc.

    And it occured to me at that moment, that I was enjoying my time being frugal more than when I had spent. It felt like when I was a kid when things were really tough, but we didn’t know it.

    It’s hard to explain, but it was cathartic feeling squeezed yet really having all we really needed — actually more. What I thought was a forced-step backwards was actually emancipation from the doldrums of consumption without meaningful significance.

    Since many close to me suffered varying degrees of economic turmoil and uncertainty too, it also created sense of interdependence. As you said, it started feeling like a community (again) in a similar way.

    I wonder whether collectively having not sufferd true adversity has caused us to lose a sense of purpose that, for many, is only now being recaptured from the discomfort of financial uncertainty.

    Rabbiit, I get where you’re coming from.

  22. My parents didn’t sacrifice so I could grow up and short change my kid.

    Your parents didn’t sacrifice for your kid – they sacrificed for you. And if you went to Harvard, you more than met their expectations. Quit beating yourself up – much of this you had little control. There are certainly worse sins that buying more house than you could afford. You and 50MM other Americans.

    You will do the same for your daughter when the time comes. You’ll spend your last dime to make sure she’s got everything she ever needs, even if it means you sleep on the cold floor. And you staying married to your wife and being a good husband is the best gift you can give your kid.

    Trust me on this one Rutherford.

  23. “the doldrums of consumption without meaningful significance.”

    Man, I’ve read that phrase like 15 times. Perfect description of materialism.

    Rutherford, if a bloated house and the purse strings for an ivy league school is what stands in the way of you short changing your daughter, then she’s already been short changed…..big time.

    Hell, following your logic, everybody in the lower middle class is somehow short changing their kids and, thus, less of a Dad and Mom then you are.

    I know you didn’t mean to come off that way, but that is how it reads.

  24. I honestly don’t know if my two car guys have internet access. I guarantee my go to car guy is in his garage as we speak tinkering away while blaring classic rock and smoking medical marijuana.

  25. Let’s hear it for the Obama/Holder Justice Department! They managed to convict a known terrorist on a whole 1 out of 280 counts!

  26. Congratulations Obama, Eric Holder, and all Libs terribly concerned with those jihadists! Another slam dunk idea you potato heads have brought to the table. See Huck already beat me to it with the congratulations.

    Jurors in New York City on Wednesday convicted Ahmed Ghailani of conspiracy to blow up government buildings in the al-Qaida attacks on two U.S. embassies in 1998, but they acquitted him on more than 280 other charges.

    Seems the government was not even allowed to bring star witnesses to the trial. Gee, maybe we’ll get Khalid Sheik Mohammad on one count too!

    Ship of fools…

  27. I guarantee my go to car guy is in his garage as we speak tinkering away while blaring classic rock and smoking medical marijuana.

    1. The dangers of commenting-while-drinking.

    2. Do NOT go to THAT mechanic! 🙂

  28. Huck and Tex …. the dude will go away for 20 to life. If I were a betting man, I’d wager the sentence will be closer to life. It’s kinda like dating … you don’t need to fall in love with every girl you date, you just need to find that one special one. They got him on one count …. and that’s all they needed. The rest is just symbolic.

    Here’s a tip gentlemen — when you torture a dude, decide right then and there that you’re not going to subsequently prosecute him. Keep him locked up as a political prisoner the rest of his life.

  29. I know you didn’t mean to come off that way, but that is how it reads.

    Well of course Rabbit I didn’t mean for it to come off that way …. but isn’t the American Dream about generational progress? Don’t we all want our progeny to do better than we did? For some that might mean Ivy League schools, for others it might quite frankly mean just staying out of jail. It’s all relative.

  30. I guess I long for a world where Ivy League schools are egalitarian in nature and not bound to such things as a kid’s parents’ bank account or the government’s current favorite skin color. Conservatives can be dreamers too, you know.

  31. Here’s a tip gentlemen — when you torture a dude, decide right then and there that you’re not going to subsequently prosecute him. Keep him locked up as a political prisoner the rest of his life.

    Or…if he’s a murdering scum, take him out to Millers Crossing and put two behind his ear when he’s outlived his usefulness.

  32. Huck and Tex …. the dude will go away for 20 to life.

    OH? Then I assume you’ll admit it was nothing but a show trial; a preconceived sentencing; a spectacle? A bash Bush love fest, though the end result what would have been achieved within ranks of military tribunal?

    “R”, when you going to admit Eric Holder is a moron and a millstone around Obama’s neck? You should be the first to be demanding Holder resign for incompetency.

  33. Hey Rutherford. I would direct this question to Rambo Vainchin, but he bailed once he was done describing his heroic exploits in Viet Nam. How convenient – bet he’s still lurking, though.

    So I have to direct this to you and have been meaning to do so for a while.

    The Left is fond of asking where Tea Partiers were when Bush was running deficits which were only a fraction the size of Obama’s.

    It’s a fair question, but I have an equally fair question.

    Why the sudden silence of the fraudulent and opportunist ‘anti-war’ movement? I haven’t heard any of you lefties comment about the increasing number of troops being killed almost to the day Obama took office.

    Is it because there’s no political hay to make now that Bush no longer holds title of President?

  34. Complete spin by R. I can sense when he is towing the line. Make no mistake about it, this was an eye opener for Holder and, secretly, Rutherford too.

  35. Huck and Tex …. the dude will go away for 20 to life. If I were a betting man, I’d wager the sentence will be closer to life. It’s kinda like dating … you don’t need to fall in love with every girl you date, you just need to find that one special one. They got him on one count …. and that’s all they needed. The rest is just symbolic.” – R

    Why bet? Life? I’d assume something else, and with time already served, he could be out before you know it.

    And think about what you just said- it doesn’t matter that they couldn’t convict him on the 248 counts of murder that he admitted too or the fact that it was terrorism, no, we got him on conspiracy to blow up a building.

    Tell you what R, the next time someone lynchs a black man because they think its Gods will, and they get convicted for using a stolen rope, think on this comment. They’re about equal.

    This is really insulting, especially for us who risk a lot to fight terrorism.

  36. “It’s kinda like dating … you don’t need to fall in love with every girl you date, you just need to find that one special one.”

    Ah yes. The dangers of commenting-while-drinking. . .

  37. Boy “R”, did I get an epiphany this afternoon. And the first person I thought of was you. You’ll understand…

    ————-

    You commented you’ve been out of the corporate loop since 2007? I’ve been out of it four years longer than that – Jul 2003 to be exact. And it occurred to me how long I’ve gone without a paycheck. No wonder I feel like I’m starting to suck wind and things are starting to look old around here.

    Here’s what happened:

    I take my youngest daughter’s prescription from her dermatologist to the local Walgreen’s. Mind you, I learned enough in pharmacology to be dangerous and no more. But I was not comfortable with what the doctor had recommended and wanted to talk to a pharmacist. Heads up to readers – one thing I learned in medical school before becoming an over educated dropout.. If you have a question about interaction of drugs, ask your pharmacist and not your doctor. 😉

    (My youngest has had some mild reactions to antibiotics before and I remember exactly what they were. This new drug is in the same family and I was worried about a cross reaction).

    I go to the window. And lo and behold, the pharmacist was in my Organic Chemistry II class. Where did time go? Now here is what bothers me. This is not to brag, but to make a point about trusting “professionals.”

    I was the best student in that class (by far). I smoked these people, including him, by an average of 20 points on most tests. It wasn’t that I was so good either because the Org II is one of the most esoteric you can take in college. It was that they were that mediocre in a very difficult class. My own oldest daughter has forgotten more about Org Chemistry than I knew and it showed on our MCAT tests as example.

    Getting older gives one a new perspective about the fragility of the things you trust. 😛

  38. Or…if he’s a murdering scum, take him out to Millers Crossing and put two behind his ear when he’s outlived his usefulness.

    Exactly right. If they are not US citizens and are not afforded the protection of our Constitution, then why don’t we just kill them. Forget the military tribunal. The Constitution only protects our citizens. Everybody else, let’s just kill ’em.

    Right BiW?

  39. Regarding #47, Gorilla, let’s use the tribunals whenever we violate people’s rights.

    The objection to the civilian trial is that we don’t want to see real justice done. We want vengeance. If the tribunal gets us our vengeance, so be it. If not, then as I said to BiW, let’s just stop the entire charade and just kill them.

    I posted this vid on your site, but here it is for the benefit of everyone else in this thread. Pataki makes no sense to me … particularly when he blames 9/11 on the way we tried the 1993 WTC bombers. Very odd.

  40. “The Constitution only protects our citizens.”

    That is incorrect.

    The constitution protects anyone on American soil. That is the entire reason for Gitmo.

    Are you starting to understand now that George Bush is not a dumbass?

  41. The objection to the civilian trial is that we don’t want to see real justice done. We want vengeance. If the tribunal gets us our vengeance, so be it. If not, then as I said to BiW, let’s just stop the entire charade and just kill them.

    R,

    First you need to keep in mind that I am speaking purely for myself.

    That said, I’m not interested in treating them like criminals. They don’t see themselves that way, and neither do I. There simply is no point to finding them guilty and putting them in prison for 20 years, where they will enjoy a standard of life better then they have ever enjoyed before, and have the opportunity to peddle their evil and destructive ideology to the malcontents who their share a cellblock with. There will not be redemption. There will not be rehabilitation. There will only be a cushy lifestyle will halal foods, prayer rugs, and seeds being planted.

    This is not a matter for justice; it is only animal control. If a mad dog threatens you and your family, you put it down. You don’t reason with it, you don’t coddle it. If you can get useful information, you get the useful information, and then you dispose of it.

    The world is on the cusp of becoming a lot meaner place, R. When the dominos start falling, the thin veneer of civilization in which the prevailing attitudes of AG Holder and others reside will very soon be swept away as nations, including our own, struggle for their survival.

  42. BiW, a more thoughtful answer than perhaps I deserved.

    I am not familiar with the “rules of war”. I understand the concept that enemy combatants are not equivalent to criminals. Assuming we classify these folks as enemy combatants, then what are the accepted rules for prisoners of war? Aren’t POW’s released back to their native lands when the war ends? Of course there we have another problem. This “war” has no end.

    By classifying terrorism as an act of war, rather than a criminal activity, we get ourselves between a rock and a hard place in terms of what we do with these “animals”.

  43. The constitution protects anyone on American soil. That is the entire reason for Gitmo.

    Are you starting to understand now that George Bush is not a dumbass?

    You seem to say that like a badge of pride. If this is indeed an example of Bush’s cleverness, it is an arch cleverness to say the least.

  44. It was clever. The alternative would have been following in FDR’s footsteps and interning people, including American citizens, without due process on American soil.

    Or he could have tried them in federal court. But then, we see how well that worked out. Conviction on 1 out of 250 counts.

    Or there is always the “2 in the brainstem” approach you seem to be leaning toward. I somehow think you’d be singing a different tune under a Bush admin.

  45. Remember when Rutherford posted his dislike for my claim that modern day liberalism was a mental illness?

    And we know approximately 20% of citizens would claim they are liberal.

    So here’s the correlation I was speaking of – every damn one of them are crazy. 😈

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/40257359

  46. I love my buddy Ron Paul but the Xmas bomber had no intention of entering the cockpit so an armed pilot would do no good in that case.

    If we don’t check your “junk” as discretely as possible, how to we keep people from putting chemical explosives near their junk? It’s a simple question.

    An aside to SayW, if you use a consistently spelled handle and email address your comments won’t go into moderation. I’m just sayin’. 🙂

  47. Or there is always the “2 in the brainstem” approach you seem to be leaning toward

    Huck should know full well I’m not leaning toward the two-in-the-brain-stem approach. I’m just pointing out that if we are going to discard due process then why not jump to the chase and stop the pretense.

    As I said before, we have not given sufficient thought to all the aspects of fighting an unconventional war and how we maintain American standards in doing so.

  48. Well at least MSNBC is bi-partisanly stupid. They just suspended Joe Scarborough for two days because of contributions he made two years ago.

    After the Leno/Conan disaster and now these clusterf*cks, Jeff Zucker truly needs to be shown the door. 👿

  49. Scarborough is a republican? And made donations in local races? Shocking! Who’d have thunk MSLSD, the home of Olbermann, Maddow, Schultz, Matthews, Mika Numbnutski, and Lawrence O’Donnell would tolerate even the appearance of bias? It’s not like they’re some propoganda staion like. . . Fox!

    For the love of God Rutherford, stop watching that damn station. It rots your brain. You’ll wind up like Yellowdog (assuming he ever had a brain to begin with).

  50. Rutherford, I rarely bring up my 4 year stint in the military unless I’m reminiscing about Scandinavian pussy.

    Sure, I was a part of a few major NATO exorcises where we shot blanks at one another.

    Yet, for the most part, when I wasn’t cleaning toilets or digging fox holes due to bad behavior, my job could have been done in high heels. So, much of my “war” training was academic: A multiple choice question on the test to make rank that dealt with how long to boil a rat. A little cold weather training. Some abstract bits on POW status.

    I admit I know as much about real war as you do. So take this with a grain of salt. Never once were we trained on making lawful arrests. Never did the word Miranda come up. Due Process wasn’t part of the training either. I had a very tiny role in a giant war machine.

    Would love for you to include a viable plan of action that creates a battlefield environment where your fellow global citizens in Gitmo could ever be apprehended in a way that would satisfy the litmus test of American civil rights.

    If you can’t, I expect the next post to be an apology to GWB. Either that or an apology to us for why you hold Obama to such a different standard on Gitmo and an explanation of why you seem not to care about the place anymore. What did you think, we all forgot about your fist pumping over Obama’s naïve promise to close Gitmo in 12 months?

  51. As I said before, we have not given sufficient thought to all the aspects of fighting an unconventional war and how we maintain American standards in doing so.

    R, they aren’t fighting in the uniform of any particular nation, and as such, doo not qualify as POWs. As for repatriating them, many of their “home” nations do not want them back, or if they do, you can rest assured, they will not get the “tea and crumpets” approach they have enjoyed in our tender mercies at Club GITMO.

    They are unpersons. They have sworn themselves to killing us and completely destroying our society. The only peace they are interested in achieving is for us to surrender everything we are and take after them, or to die trying. The “justice” you would have us seek is not a deterent to them. Death is not a deterent to them. Threatening to strip them naked, and have armed women force them to don panties and bras and take pictures to send to their friends and neighbors before we kill them and bury them with a mixture of pig entrails and pig’s blood terrifies them.

    Justice cannot be a one-way prospect, and for the opponent we face, respect is not a concept that will change their minds any more than giving them “due process” will. Get their fear, and you will get their attention, which is about as close to respect as you are likely to attain with them. Any thing else is engaging in a dangerous fiction that will only result in more needless deaths, and a general disruption for the rest of the world that isn’t stuck in the 7th Century.

    If you’re trying to reconcile yourself with their status, ask yourself if there is any difference, other than the underlying motivation, between your average Jihadi and a pirate. Then ask yourself what nations that haven’t misplaced their balls do with pirates when they catch them.

  52. Has the comment box changed with more junk or instruction, or am I so unobservant, I’m just now noticing what the “junk” says after two years?

    Rabbit, that comment about “high heels” really did make me laugh out loud.

  53. BiW, you mean if we don’t extend our civil rights ane tolerance to Jihadis, they won’t reward us with good behavior?

  54. Tigre, I think in your eagerness to be sarcastic your first “don’t” was meant to be “do”. 🙂

    Slow down …. we’ll still be here when you get your sarcastic post properly composed. 😉

  55. BiW, you mean if we don’t extend our civil rights ane tolerance to Jihadis, they won’t reward us with good behavior?

    It’s shocking, isn’t it? But hey, we can feel all morally superior and smug when they get out of jail and kill more Americans needlessly, as we pat ourselves on the back and tell ourselves that we did the right thing by bringing them to justice.

  56. “Slow down …. we’ll still be here when you get your sarcastic post properly composed.”

    With this crowd, you gotta be quick on the draw. I lost the 20% mental illness/liberal correlation wating around. There is no second place when it comes to sarcasm. 👿

  57. I have to be honest. I’m not buying the outrage in conservative circles over the TSA pat downs. I think they’re just cashing in on the pissed off masses to be a pain in the buttock for Obama and that sexy ass dullard we have for a Homeland Security Chief.

    Sure enough, PC stupidity has at times made a mockery out of airline security when it comes to stink beard terrorism (as opposed to drug enforcement where they profile single dudes in their 20s and 30s all the time, with good reason.)

    But, if they want to pat everyone down or walk them through a scanner, who gives a shit. I got patted down every morning when I worked corrections. I got over it.

    These planes can cause enough carnage to shut down Earth for a few days while potentially killing many more then 9/11.

    Can you imagine an attack on a college football game?

    There also might be a bit of truth to the changing demographic of the enemy, as we saw with that Swedish dame that the stink beards recruited here in America.

    I heard some chick call in on Hannity saying she canceled all of her flights because she was molested as a child and can’t bare being patted down.

    While the pat downs may be unnecessary and worthy of debate in the public sphere, I have this sneaking suspicion that if the Bush administration deemed it necessary, Sean Hannity would be defending every single pat down, even to formerly molested chicks with PTSD.

  58. Rabbit, I don’t care about their outrage. I care about my own.

    I resent the sit out of the fact that we have had to increasingly surrender our liberties to an absolute charade. As long as the government refuses to profile, and instead has progressed from feeling up little girls and taking away Granny’s knitting needles to demanding that the travelling public either submit to a Rapescan by someone less vetted than the travellers themselves, or allow themselves to be groped without probable cause or warrant, with NO additional scrutiny for the class of people most likely to cause the problem, the government has just proven how unserious it is about actually addressing the problem, while expecting the rest of us to meekly cede even more authority that they were never meant to have.

    As Krauthammer deftly pointed out, it is not only insulting to subject the average American to this, but it is criminally stupid to subject the pilots to it, as they don’t need a weapon to take control of the plane; they simply take their seats.

    I was wondering out loud today if they make the Skymarshalls do this too. I’m betting that the search is lot different for people who are armed and have every right to be.

  59. I keep hearing this specious argument about how we can’t profile at the airport, and they use Timothy McVeigh as the example. That’s how dishonest many of these brain dead libs are, including the imbecile daughter of Menendez the Senator.

    Did McVeigh commit himself to suicide bombing and I missed it?

    Do you know what the chances were of you of being a passenger on suicide mission? One in 30 million. That’s before we established this idiot program.

    You’ve got a much better chance of being eaten by a shark or being struck by lightning this year, and that’s if you’re a frequent flier. This entire policy is beyond stupid.

  60. Lol. That is so damn true about the pilots and something I embarrassingly never thought of.

    Yeah, I see your point. The policy is a glaring example of the stupidity of Rutherford’s beloved Nanny.

    If the outrage is based on the stupidity of the policy, I’m on board. If its about our civil rights, I’m not 100 percent sold yet.

    I know this is a canned retort, but since when is flying a right? Didn’t we long give up our expectation of privacy when we fly? I know I have.

    I admit I haven’t thought this out much and it should also be noted I don’t travel anymore. But who gives a shit? It’s a pat down before you go on what is essentially a massive rocket flying at close to the speed of sound. Nobody’s getting an HJ. You get pat downs going into a sunday afternoon Tiger game.

  61. What I think you boys are missing is that (for reasons beyond my understanding) this TSA tempest in a teapot has EVERYONE Repub and Dem alike frothing at the mouth. I’m hearing liberals suddenly having a hissy fit over it.

    Has anyone read or heard whether or not the x-ray machines would have caught the Xmas bomber? If he could get on a plane undetected by either the scan or the pat-down, then I agree we have to find other means.

    Still, I’m with Rabbit. If the scrotum grope is sufficient to deter a would-be hot-pants, then I’m all for it.

  62. I actually enjoyed Klavan’s video. The funny thing is I’m sure he thinks he is smarter than the average Democrat …. what an elitist. 🙂

    P.S. Tex, I do think WordPress changed the amount of “instructions” on what markup you can use in a comment … either that or they changed the font of the instruction so it’s more noticeable. I know something changed … just not sure what.

  63. Has anyone read or heard whether or not the x-ray machines would have caught the Xmas bomber? If he could get on a plane undetected by either the scan or the pat-down, then I agree we have to find other means.

    If I understood the mechanism correctly “R”, the answer is no – it would not have caught the underwear bomber.

    But what’s being overlooked is both the diaper and the shoe bomber were coming from overseas. Unless they establish this throughout the world, the groping becomes a moot point.

    ———-

    The funny thing is I’m sure he thinks he is smarter than the average Democrat ….

    You don’t have to be an elitist to be smarter than the average Dim. Most barnyard animals are smarter than the average Dim. 🙂

  64. The objection to the civilian trial is that we don’t want to see real justice done. We want vengeance. If the tribunal gets us our vengeance, so be it. If not, then as I said to BiW, let’s just stop the entire charade and just kill them.“- R

    No, the objection is that our rights are not their rights. We error on the side of caution in justice to protect the innocent accused of committing a crime. I’ve never had the fear of a criminal blowing up an airplane in the name of God.

    Nor have I seen a criminal, or a criminal organization, declare war on the United States. You desperately need to get off of this meme that Islamic terrorism is a crime. It is ludicrous a synonymous with calling aerial bombardment ‘property damage’.

    Ooo, I’m sorry, according to the Holder DOJ, terrorism is property damage…

  65. I know this is a canned retort, but since when is flying a right? Didn’t we long give up our expectation of privacy when we fly? I know I have.

    Making a nude body scan or getting groped a condition of your travel is neither reasonable in relation to the harm it is intended to prevent, nor is it a good reason to waive the requirement of a warrant or probable cause for such a search. It interferes both with the freedom of contract (between me and the airline) and my freedom of movement.

    If a jihadi buys a Greyhound ticket and denonates himself in a full bus in rush hour traffic, will we have to submit this same thing for a bus trip across the country? What about the bus trip across town? What about when the authorities decide that personal automobiles are too big a threat to the safety of others?

    Life is full of risk, Rabbit, and for those who know what they are doing can turn every blessing of modern life against us. Hell, the amount of mayhem that I can create with things from the local supermarket is truely terrifying. McGuyver’s got nothing on someone who is creative and has a working knowledge of basic chemistry.

    It comes down to this: there will always be someone who succeeds in their intent to do bad things. You can spend your time and money much more efficiently and effectively with preparation and PROFILING. The Israelis have survived for decades in one of the World’s Shittiest Neighborhoods™. They do so by preparedness, by training, and profiling. Sometimes one of the savages succeeds. A bomb goes off, a rocket hits, or one of them targets women and children and succeeds.

    The difference between them and us, is that they recognize that there is no way to achieve 100% security, they wouldn’t be willing to pay the price if there were, and they know the difference between reasonable and effective measures and things that maximize annoyance and violate the dignity of the person for no net gain.

  66. You know I truly find this TSA thing fascinating from the following perspective … it seems to be where the traditional conservative crashes headlong into the classical libertarian.

    Think about it? Who ratcheted up the “keep America safe” factor? George W. Bush, that’s who. Everything from illegal wire taps to all sorts of color coded alerts were implemented by the Bush admin to keep America safe. And the Bush book tour makes great hay of the success his policies had in “preventing another 9/11”. Usually, all you boys would be the first to jump on his bandwagon in support of this.

    Now we have a Dem President and suddenly all you hard-ass GOPhers have gone all libertarian on us. “Don’t touch my junk”, “don’t limit my freedoms”, “when you inconvenience me, the terrorists win”. LOL the list goes on and on.

    And the best part is this is a topic that Dem’s and GOPhers actually agree on. Everyone has become fed up with the TSA. I know what is needed now. We need Obama to make a definitive statement on the topic … so that all you guys can then take the opposite position, regardless of what you’ve said thus far. 😆

  67. “Who ratcheted up the “keep America safe” factor? George W. Bush, that’s who.”

    No. America did.

    R, are trying to decalre some kingd of victory by your last comment? I guess you’ll wait for Obama so you can take the same position? Cut the crap. You’ve waffled. What is YOUR position (or should I wait for that idiot Olbermann to let us all know)?

  68. Now we have a Dem President and suddenly all you hard-ass GOPhers have gone all libertarian on us. “Don’t touch my junk”, “don’t limit my freedoms”, “when you inconvenience me, the terrorists win”. LOL the list goes on and on

    Bullshiznit.

    There is a difference between walking through a metal detector (which I do everytime I walk into court), and allowing myself to be nuked so someone who isn’t vetted as well as I am can take a pic of my jiggly bits[and keep it] or feel me up.

    As I stated, going through with a charade is tolerable until they go too far. When I end up on the receiving end of treatment that wouldn’t be tolerated for criminals, and it is expected that I smile and go along with it? Not just no, but HELL NO.

    How about you tell us where your line is, R?

    When they feel you up to get on a bus?

    When you are boarding a crosstown bus?

  69. Who knew Secretary Janet Napolitano was a Bush lackey?

    Rutherford, get your head out of the sand and recognize these sleazebags are Bongo toadies. Secretary Napolitano is as big a joke as Attorney General Douchebag Holder. This is what you get for appointees when you have complete incompetence at the top.

    You still haven’t left the anger phase of the horrific ass kicking your messiah took three weeks ago.

    Time to face facts like a man.

  70. Now we have a Dem President and suddenly all you hard-ass GOPhers have gone all libertarian on us. “Don’t touch my junk”, “don’t limit my freedoms”, “when you inconvenience me, the terrorists win”. LOL the list goes on and on

    Yeah, it does. Just ask this guy:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40291856/ns/travel-news/

    Damn, that shore is funneh!

    And this one? I just couldn’t stop laughing:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40278427/ns/travel-news?ns=travel-news

    Tell these people that they are just being silly, R.

    And while you’re at it, as yourself if a new security measure that will make no one any more secure is worth the cost of their dignity, let alone yours.

  71. What is YOUR position

    Tigre, maybe I wasn’t explicit enough. I think the whole TSA thing is a tempest in a teapot. We do all sorts of things that make us only marginally safer. It’s just the way life is.

    Here’s an example. For decades, kids took aspirin. I don’t think there’s anyone in my generation that doesn’t remember Johnson’s Baby Aspirin, the little orange pills. Now it’s been tied to some disease and little kids aren’t supposed to take it anymore. I don’t know what the incidence of disease is with it, but i think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s being overly cautious. Be that as it may, to this day my six year old has never taken a single dose of aspirin. My wife is VERY obsessive about it.

    Another example … we were at a birthday party laser-tag event a few weeks ago. These were all 5 to 7 year olds.One of the seven year olds asks a staff member “what if someone gets hurt?” I’m standing there thinking WTF? Just have a good time kid. You’re too damn young to be obsessing over worst case scenarios.

    We live in different times Tigre. Everybody is worried about everything. If we go through some procedures that are uncomfortable and perhaps downright silly for the sake of feeling safer, then what’s the harm?

    I think folks like BiW need kick back and have a beer. There isn’t this posse of folks eager to strip you of your “liberty”. 🙄

  72. BiW, I don’t find a lot of dignity in having a finger shoved up my ass to make sure my prostate is ok. Is that test conclusive? No. Some might even say it’s a complete waste. I accept that it provides some minimal reassurance and I say “ok”.

    Regarding the urostomy bag and the prosthetic breast … not cool. The folks involved need to be reprimanded if not fired. Any procedure has the potential for abuse and the abusers must be removed from the system.

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me why this has surfaced all of a sudden. It reminds me of the NYC mosque which was under the radar for months before it suddenly became a cause celebre. Sometimes the folks who make something “news” have an ulterior motive. I’d like to find the original source of this latest brouhaha and see to whom they are “connected”.

  73. Maybe I am connecting dots where there are none, but I thought there was a good chance that a bunch of ink toner things packed with explosives got into the states. I am under the assumption that the TSA is responding to a credible threat? No?

    I’m trying to figure out why I don’t give shit about pat downs when I know that the TSA and Homeland Security are such incompetent, politically correct weanies.

    I remember a long time ago I took my wife (then girlfriend) on a road trip to Washington DC. This is well before our era of being pretend patricians. Looking back on it cracks me up. Talk about blue collar innocence. We literally thought we were not allowed in the lobby of a 90 dollar hotel because it looked so nice. My wife actually yelled at me for having the guts to walk in a room with such majestic crown molding. She thought I was going to get in trouble.

    Flying is still a little like that hotel room for me (we ended up staying the night there). For me, its a mind blowing privilege to fly at the speed of sound. And a pat down isn’t going to damper a fun weekend in Vegas in the least.

    BiW and Tex make a lot of sense. Yet, even BiW does admit that he tolerates at least some bull shit at the gate. Its just that this new bull shit goes to far. I guess for me, its still not a big deal.

    While I believe that Tex and BiW’s outrage is authentic, I have to side with Rutherford when it comes to much of the outrage on the right. Where was the vetting of the Patriot Act? That wasn’t part of the conversation in conservative circles, back then. There sure are more Libertarians these days.

  74. Sorry gang…I think anybody that believes this makes us any safer, or that this is an effective use of resources to secure our airports, is certifiably insane. And since I know most of you are not stupid, I can only surmise that you’ve been you’ve simply caved…

    I get more disgusted with our society and people that should know better any day.

    I’m about to give up on trying to educate the masses and am about ready to move anyplace where plain old horse sense hasn’t been shelved, even if it means I have to live with a lot less.

  75. That last post read like I was about 90% illiterate. I think it’s that I don’t much give a shit about doing this anymore.

    Due to my own personal epiphany this week, I think I’m through with blogging…I should have never gotten started doing this to begin with, realized seven years of doing this had basically been seven years of wasting my life, and now I’m made at myself for ever letting in happen.

  76. Dude, I think you may have an addiction to the internet. And I’m being serious. There have been several times now that you beat yourself up about blogging, even claiming quit days and such, but always return. That is just what drug addicts do. if I were you I would quit the internet for one year.

  77. The pat down policy is stupid. Beyond stupid. The mainstream outrage seems kind of blown out of proportion, considering what has happened over the last two years… but its cool with me. Nanny being Nanny. I’m glad the MSM has slanted this story anti-government. But, a slant it is and that all I’m really saying. Its just a security pat down. That little girl was not traumatized. If I acted that way with an officer in uniform while my Dad was holding me, my Dad would be the one traumatizing me.

    So, starting right now, I’m going to join in on the outrage. I’m just going smirk when I do it.

  78. How about this R? Have we found a line yet?

    (MSNBC) – A retired special education teacher on his way to a wedding in Orlando, Fla., said he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

    “I was absolutely humiliated, I couldn’t even speak,” said Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich.

    Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his stomach. “I have to wear special clothes and in order to mount the bag I have to seal a wafer to my stomach and then attach the bag. If the seal is broken, urine can leak all over my body and clothes.”

    On Nov. 7, Sawyer said he went through the security scanner at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. “Evidently the scanner picked up on my urostomy bag, because I was chosen for a pat-down procedure.”

    Due to his medical condition, Sawyer asked to be screened in private. “One officer looked at another, rolled his eyes and said that they really didn’t have any place to take me,” said Sawyer. “After I said again that I’d like privacy, they took me to an office.”

    Sawyer wears pants two sizes too large in order to accommodate the medical equipment he wears. He’d taken off his belt to go through the scanner and once in the office with security personnel, his pants fell down around his ankles. “I had to ask twice if it was OK to pull up my shorts,” said Sawyer, “And every time I tried to tell them about my medical condition, they said they didn’t need to know about that.”

    Before starting the enhanced pat-down procedure, a security officer did tell him what they were going to do and how they were going to it, but Sawyer said it wasn’t until they asked him to remove his sweatshirt and saw his urostomy bag that they asked any questions about his medical condition.

    “One agent watched as the other used his flat hand to go slowly down my chest. I tried to warn him that he would hit the bag and break the seal on my bag, but he ignored me. Sure enough, the seal was broken and urine started dribbling down my shirt and my leg and into my pants.”

    The security officer finished the pat-down, tested the gloves for any trace of explosives and then, Sawyer said, “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”

    Humiliated, upset and wet, Sawyer said he had to walk through the airport soaked in urine, board his plane and wait until after takeoff before he could clean up.

  79. This is how you secure an airport…

    And Israeli officials profile. They don’t profile racially, but they profile. Israeli Arabs breeze through rather quickly, but thanks to the dozens of dubious-looking stamps in my passport — almost half are from Lebanon and Iraq — I get pulled off to the side for more questioning every time. And I’m a white, nominally Christian American.

    If they pull you aside, you had better tell them the truth. They’ll ask you so many wildly unpredictable questions so quickly, you couldn’t possibly invent a fake story and keep it all straight. Don’t even try. They’re highly trained and experienced, and they catch everyone who tries to pull something over on them.

    Because I fit one of their profiles, it takes me 15 or 20 minutes longer to get through the first wave of security than it does for most people. The agents make up for it, though, by escorting me to the front of the line at the metal detector. They don’t put anyone into a “porn machine.” There’s no point. Terrorists can’t penetrate that deeply into the airport.

    The Israeli experience isn’t pleasant, exactly, and there’s a lot not to like about it. It can be exasperating for those of us who are interrogated more thoroughly.

    Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/forget_the_porn_machines_NQAJ5DOzf187gdRQnLURlO#ixzz15uqXtAhY

  80. I’m very late to this party – so late that the party has already moved on to another thread. But I have wanted to make a few comments ever since I read the post last week. I haven’t read the previous comments, and don’t plan to do so.

    A company that I follow closely regularly sacrifices getting the job done well so that they can get it done cheap.

    I used to have a sign in my office: “Good, fast, cheap – pick any two.” It’s true in every business.

    The corporate mantra of the late 20th and early 21st centuries has been increased efficiency.

    Not exactly. The new corporate mantra is greater short-term profits by any means necessary. Is it really “efficient” to outsource your help desk to a call center in India where your customers can barely understand the accented English spoken there? I wouldn’t say so. Short-term “efficiency” that results in poor customer service and pissed-off customers is no way to build a long-term business. On the contrary.

    now everybody and his mother is a stock owner.

    Again, not exactly. Only a tiny sliver of publicly traded stock is held by middle class investors who trade actively. The vast majority of middle-class equity investments is held in the form of mutual funds. Very few responsible financial planners even recommend individual equities for their clients – instead, index funds are the vehicle of choice. Why? Because individual company equities have become mere casino chips. The insane compensation methods used to “incentivize” corporate CEO’s reward short term results more than building the foundation for a generation of growth and profit. Much faster money can be made buying and selling other companies (or by being bought or sold) than by running an actual business. Why should we be surprised when CEO’s give more effort to treating their holdings like Monopoly deeds than anything else?

    So what this means is that corporate America no longer has the moral imperative to put Americans back to work.

    And when did Corporate America EVER take moral responsibility for ANYTHING? (Hint – cwell-publicized contributions of pittances to worthy causes and running feel-good ads touting “green” policies are NOT equivalent to moral responsibility.)

    Large public corporations are amoral beings. They have only one goal – benefiting their shareholders financially. Their directors and officers have a fiduciary responsibility to pursue that goal – and ONLY that goal. It was never otherwise.

    Some argue that corporate intervention in social and political issues is merely the corporation acting as representative of its shareholders. That is even more nonsensical today than it ever was. From day to day, a large public corporation doesn’t even know who its shareholders are because large holdings often are sold many times daily in huge blocs by hedge funds, by Goldman Sachs – or by Bank of America using MY money. As a result the company operations become increasingly divorced from the real or perceived economic interests of the shareholders. When holdings are dominated by traders who have no real interest in the corporation’s operations, for whose benefit does the company wind up putting first? If you guessed the executives, you get a gold star.

    Yet somehow, the “legal person” that is a large public corporation has gradually obtained rights that equal or exceed those of flesh-and-blood human beings. Meanwhile, some say that the word “person” in the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t even apply to Mexican nationals living in Texas. Is this something that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison could have envisioned?

  81. “For me, its a mind blowing privilege to fly at the speed of sound. And a pat down isn’t going to damper a fun weekend in Vegas in the least.”

    Rabbit, you’re cracking me up. The fancy $90 hotel room and awe of actually being permitted on a plane. I guess I feel the same way about the damn scanning and pat downs.

    What’s bothring me the most is being on the same page as that damn Rutherford who first started out aligining himself with Tex, then me, then using my earlier phrase “tempest in a teapot” to describe all of this. I’m just not feeling the rage — but agreeing with Rutherford is worse than Horst or Helga the TSA agents grabbing a handful of Tigre’s peace maker.

    p.s. nothing personal Rutherford. It’s a yin yang/ matter anti-matter kinda thing. the universe is now out of balance.

  82. Tex, I’ve figured blogging with your level of passion was the product of not enough outlets for an active mind. For me, commenting here is a break from dealing with too much cogetation with real consequences at work (as if that weren;t obvious enough). It’d bum me me out if you quit because I think your comments are beyond entertaining and almost always on the money.

    You would make a great political commentator. I have friend that called into a radio show and complained that the personality was an idiot and he could do a better job. He was invited down to prove it — and he did. He’s had an unpaid three-hour show in a major maket for several months now. They’re now offering a contract for weekday afternoons — the sweet spot — with possible syndication. after all of the torture he dispensed to the liberal lemmings, he’s been validated (which also makes him a bigger prick).

    I’ve thought from time to time, you would kick my friend’s ass for sure (at least in print) based on the quality of your commentary. I don’t think you should hang it up. Maybe locate a less pedestrian and more structured forum.

    Or you could start drinking during the day. . .

  83. Experiencing TSA “security theater” in three airports in recent days, and observing my fellow passengers and hearing their comments, has led me to hope that maybe, just maybe, Americans have reached the tipping point in just how much “security” they are willing to endure in order to feel ever-so-slightly safer.

    How much hassle is it worth to be 99.98% safe from a bizarre attack on an airplane – as opposed to 99.6%? Anyone who is THAT worried about terrorists should stay the frack at home.

    I saw a recent non-scientific poll in which people were asked if they would choose an airline for the same price that used only pre 9/11 security. That particular poll was overwhelmingly in favor of the airline with lighter security.

    Could this even carry over to public interest in restoring the Fourth Amendment? Let’s hope so.

  84. BiW, I don’t find a lot of dignity in having a finger shoved up my ass to make sure my prostate is ok. Is that test conclusive? No. Some might even say it’s a complete waste. I accept that it provides some minimal reassurance and I say “ok”.

    Except that with a prostate check, the decision is yours, Rutherford. You can always say no to that. Say no to an overweight, sweaty rent-a-cop grabbing your ballsack? Not so much.

  85. I came back to apologize to Rutherford for my rant…only to find comments that actually stoked my interest.

    Dude, I think you may have an addiction to the internet. And I’m being serious.

    I think you’re right. I know you’re right. I’ve known you’re right for three years now Rabbit. It is a personal weakness and something I need to address soon. It’s a filler for a purposeless life and I fully admit that.

    Some years back, I did what I thought right by my kids while changing careers. It wasn’t planned that way as I had no idea my wife being transferred shortly after I left the corporate world. I sacrificed a career that I hated to raise children I love to make sure that their life went uninterrupted, even if their mother was away for days at a time. It worked for the children.

    In the process, I thought I might change myself. But the paradox of it was that while I may have done right by the kids, I started destroying myself.

    Tell you this Rabbit for what it is worth. The biggest liability in life, the biggest sin if you will, is not to be born without some great gift or talent, but to have never utilized the gifts you may have innately inherited.

    And unfortunately through various circumstances and a complete lack of guidance in conjunction with a measure of stupidity and disgust on my behalf, I may very well have learned that lesson much too late.

  86. Graychin, I’m going to do something I seldom do. I’m going to compliment you. Your post in #113 was very good, minus the nonsensical last statement. Irrelevant and unnecessary.

    You should have left well enough alone, as what you had stated previous to that basically summarized my exact observations from above pertaining to corporations.

    The only thing I might add to your observations and statement of facts is who is to blame. I contend Americans have gotten so spoiled, they force companies to lie. Political correctness run amuck, if you will.

    Corporate executives are the ultimate benefactors, but it is the consumer who in one breath demands the cheapest commodity, then in another rants about lack of customer service.

    And if you were to read from above, I said much the same about institutional investors. Probably like you, I am in the minority, as I do hold several individual stocks – but even those are mostly long-term holds. All that knowledge I obtained has been cast to the wind, and I now find myself bidding on what mostly feels notion and chance.

  87. I contend Americans have gotten so spoiled, they force companies to lie.

    We hear about the “blame the victim” mentality, but this takes the all time prize. Something in the business of making a fast buck by any means necessary doesn’t need to be “forced” to lie.

    it is the consumer who in one breath demands the cheapest commodity, then in another rants about lack of customer service.

    That stupid consumer will make the same mistake over and over again – buying from the cheapest fly-by-night seller and then wondering why there is no customer service. Caveat emptor. It will always be so.

    Everyone rags on Walmart, but they have excellent customer service. Whenever I have taken something back, I have gotten a cheerful refund. And the vendor of that product probably loses Walmart as a customer if enough people bring their crap back.

    The worst customer service comes from virtual monopolies. Think cable TV and utilities.

  88. The worst customer service comes from virtual monopolies. Think cable TV and utilities and the Government.

    Fixed it for you…

  89. Everyone rags on Walmart, but they have excellent customer service. Whenever I have taken something back, I have gotten a cheerful refund.

    I haven’t.

    I once took a box of unopened test strips back.

    I was told by the smiling simpleton behind the counter that they were not allowed to accept returns of test strips because they could be contaminated with blood.

    I happily pointed out that while that was actually the express purpose of that product, this box was unopened.

    The response was that I had handled it. (Which still would have no effect on the strips in a sealed sterile container within a sealed box)

    I looked right at the clerk and stated that by that logic, I never should have accepted it from the pharmacy clerk in the first place, as she wasn’t wearing gloves when she handed the box to me.

    Once again I was met with a smiling refusal. When I asked for the manager, she repeated the entire conversation, leaving me with my first unsatisfactory experience at the store.

  90. Graychin, it is remarkable that you can make a very lucid post, followed by one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever read from you. The only thing I can surmise, is since we honestly hate each other, you are incapable of leaving well enough alone. I don’t say this about many Graychin, but other than occasional intellect, you are without redeeming value. The world will be a better place when you are gone and I say that in all honesty.

    We hear about the “blame the victim” mentality, but this takes the all time prize. Something in the business of making a fast buck by any means necessary doesn’t need to be “forced” to lie.

    Since when are consumers victims? You either misunderstood, or misconstrued what I said. And I’ll use Walmart as example. Walmart is a huge corporation, not for customer service that Sam Walton provided, but because they provide the cheapest product. And you just contradicted your true statement from above, which I will now remind you.

    I used to have a sign in my office: “Good, fast, cheap – pick any two.” It’s true in every business.

    Walmart continually now ranks at the bottom of customer service. Since you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Consumer Reports. Do you purposely lie, or are you just that ignorant?

    http://www.examiner.com/budget-grocery-in-san-antonio/consumer-reports-survey-ranks-costco-high-walmart-low-on-list-of-best-places-to-shop

    The Walmart you see today is not the Walmart of Sam Walton Graychin. I know you’re old. I didn’t know you that old.

  91. I don’t think you should hang it up. Maybe locate a less pedestrian and more structured forum.

    WTF? LOL Well, thanks a lot!

    In all seriousness, Tex has been called a troll but I’ll tell you something, while I hate to pull Elric iinto this, the comparison must be made. Tex has humor, vicious wit, a distinct point of view, and he is occasionally right. ( 😉 ) Elric on the other hand is a psychotic hand-puppet. I make this comparison only to say that there are those who would lump the two of them together and be glad to see them both gone from this board. I haven’t missed Elric one nano-second since he was booted (and chose not to come back after being un-booted). Tex, on the other hand I would miss greatly.

    So Tex, if you do find a less “pedestrian” place to hone your craft, make sure to leave a forwarding address so I can harass you there. 😉

  92. Tex –

    Since you kinda sorta agreed with my post at #113, I was wondering…

    From the circumstances I described, and to which you seem to stipulate, can we agree that our near-laissez-faire corporate cowboy capitalism is dysfunctional within our society? That our American style of capitalism is badly damaged if not irretrievably broken? That the Invisible Hand of the rigged free market is picking our pockets mugging us on every street corner rather than providing the manna from heaven that we have been told to expect from it?

    If so, then why don’t these circumstances call your entire political and economic philosophy into question? Is this situation being caused by TOO MUCH government regulation – of CEO salaries, of hedge funds, of banks being in the trading business with depositor money? Why hasn’t “too big to fail” come to be understood as “to big to suffer to exist”?

    Do you have any solution to propose for fixing the mess? Or must we just muddle through because it’s the fault of you and me “greedy consumers” rather than greedy corporate executives and the power held by their amoral enterprises?

    Since greed is simply part of the condition of fallen humans, must we all first repent and find Jesus before we can hope to dig ourselves out of this mess? If that’s your solution, you know very well that it isn’t going to happen.

    I have always believed that the primary purpose of government is to protect us from each other, and the principles expressed in the Bill of Rights extend that protection to protection of citizens from the government itself. Has government NO role to play in bringing some balance back to the relationship between megacorporations and natural persons? I have much more fear of the big money of amoral corporations than I have of big government. At least big government is, at some level, accountable to voters. To whom is Goldman Sachs or Bank of America or accountable?

    You rarely if ever express an opinion without a tone that expresses 110% confidence in your omniscience, but I think I’m seeing some cognitive dissonance from you now on these points. Just this once, would you please address my questions without copping out by calling me names – and then moving on?

  93. What you call cognitive dissonance I would define as simple honesty – you’ve become so ingrained with liberal propaganda and a lifetime of FDR worship, you’ve forgotten how to conceptualize the process of rational conclusions without large government intervention.

    I would agree for the hoi polloi of America, the investment game is rigged for the benefit of the large investor, and that the ordinary Joe is being fleeced. Sadly, most don’t know it. I also agree that most corporations are solely interested in short term profits and use euphemisms like “efficiencies” to hide that fact.

    That doesn’t mean I believe the enter capitalistic system should be called into question and heavily regulated by “our beloved and benevolent” government – the same government that for $1,000,000,000,000 went from jobs created, to the esoteric “jobs saved”, to finally the theoretical “America people affected by the stimulus.”

    Since greed is simply part of the condition of fallen humans, must we all first repent and find Jesus before we can hope to dig ourselves out of this mess

    You forgot two parts of the human condition: apathy and ignorance. That’s the other side of the equation. And yes, if we all really “found” Jesus, there would be no need to regulate.

    Some suggestions?

    Without going into great explanation:

    Different paradigms of measuring executive pay with something more than share price, including a provision of employee retention.

    Restructuring how a Board of Directors is formulated…

    Elimination of bonuses for institutional investors and a concise and easily explained instruction to all shareholders of fees and services received by the investment firm.

    Equal access to investment with all playing by the same rules, including IPOs.

    I have many, many more…

    ————

    I don’t claim to be omniscient Graychin. Far from it.

    But from this site alone, replete with your stories of “heroic” military exploits to raging success as self-made power broker, you have spent an adult lifetime convincing yourself of both your genius and your greatness.

    Therefore, in the theater of your mind that would require me to be 110% confident in my omniscience to make the claim “you ain’t that good…” 😉

  94. Different paradigms of measuring executive pay with something more than share price, including a provision of employee retention.

    Now you’re talking my language brother!

  95. Pretty thin stuff, Tex. And as I expected, you gave more thought to insulting me than to the topic I hoped you would address.

    (I almost bought you a T-shirt last week: “Jesus loves me, but everyone else thinks I’m an asshole.” ) 😀

    What little you did provide in the way of constructive suggestions would require some outside agency to force the changes on corporations. ( Would that be the
    Big Bad Government, God forbid?) Those changes will never happen voluntarily, because executives and boards clearly like things very well just like they are. Look at how bitterly they opposed the modest Wall Street reform legislation passed this year.

    Better protections for individual investors would be nice, but they can only be accomplished by government regulation. Do you have another way? Like self-policing on Wall Street? Do you believe in the Easter Bunny too? 😀

    (Actually, the SEC has forced disclosure rules on securities firms that give small investors a fighting chance to avoid high fees. (Durn gumment again!) But it’s still caveat emptor, and always will be.)

    But better protection for individual investors, on which you spent a good bit of your post, doesn’t even begin to address the greater problem – the enormous financial and political power in America of amoral economic entities seeking only more and more power and profit. Because of them, our economy has become Ferengis Gone Wild.

    Rutherford may admire your suggestion of rewarding executives for “employee retention,” but I think that the idea is just plain stupid. As I discussed earlier, you can’t expect large public corporations to give even a small shit about the “public good.” They are all about profits – short term, long term, but always about profits. Rewarding a CEO for “employee retention” when new technologies or other changes in the marketplace truly make some employees surplus to the company’s needs is a recipe for bankruptcy. Ask the bosses at Old General Motors about that.

  96. Jesus loves me, but everyone else thinks I’m an asshole.

    That’s gonna have me laughing the rest of the day. Today is the day I pay my bills Gray and I usually need a pick-me-up. Many thanks! 😆

  97. Graychin,

    I spent little time providing in-depth suggestions for exactly the reason(s) you provided. That is, you’re an asshole that doesn’t deserve much of an answer. Actually, I don’t think asshole really does justice to adequately describe what most think of you, because asshole can sometimes be loosely associated with affection and a couple of character flaws.

    You would better be described as an asshole a self-absorbed and pompous prick, unedifying in every manner, with little or no redeeming value – a little long for your t-shirt. 😉

    ————-

    Now for Rutherford…contrary to Rambo Vainchain’s ignorance, I do believe there are mathematical models in which shareholders, not government, could reward executive management with healthy salaries and incentives not simply tied solely to the share price of the stock. I feel reasonably confident say for $500K a year, I can find some outstanding people to adequately represent executive management; no contract; no guarantees; no stock options; same rules apply to all employees.

    We don’t need government intervention for the owners of the company to say, “boys, this is how it is going to be and how you will be measured; part of that measure will be corporate stewardship concerning the treatment of both employee and customer surveys that you (Mr or Ms Executive) will have no access to – the results will be provided to you at your yearly review, and 50% of your salary will be based on the results of those surveys.”

    The most difficult aspect of the process would be in convincing shareholders to actively participate in the process, and to limit the authority and scope of institutional voting.

    Almost by accident, we have given way too much power to mutual funds and investment services. 401Ks are a great way to accumulate savings but not so effective at investing IMO.

    If government regulation and oversight were the solution, the 2008 economic crisis would never have happened. The entire government regulatory apparatus failed miserably. The SEC and anybody associated with it should have been immediately dismissed for gross incompetence – including politicians like Chris Cox, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

    So we can negotiate answers to the questions of corporate governance. But one thing I am absolutely sure does not work is big gummit regulation.

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s