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Friday, July 08, 2011


Donald Pay

You mean those Bush tax cuts and their recent extension haven't created jobs? Can we now admit the failure of Republican tax and fiscal policies, end Republican obfuscation, and get on with policies that will create jobs?

Donald Pay

Even in conservative South Dakota some people are beginning to understand what's been happening to the middle class.



A lot of the unemployment comes from cutting government jobs. This is a good thing, right?


Rev. Brian Carpenter

I think your analysis of why the postwar boom did so well is more than a little trite. It was more than just optimism and a can-do spirit.

Because of wartime demands the country experienced full employment during the war. Because of rationing for the war effort there was no place to spend much of that money, and there was a patriotic impulse to buy war bonds (and thus to save.) Also, America's industrial infrastructure was totally intact, whereas everyone else's had been seriously damaged or even decimated.

So the average GI came home to a situation where he was eager to settle down and work and start a family, where there was pent-up demand for consumer goods, money in savings, enormous productive capacity which needed to be reallocated to civilian use, and a built in worldwide demand for our products because everyone else's manufacturing infrastructure was badly damaged. Even an ignoramus like Obama could succeed under those conditions.

When I told a British friend that the Second World War was the best thing that happened to us economically, he said, "It bankrupted us."

Ken Blanchard

Cory: congratulations on finding the fragment of spin!

Donald: the argument that we shouldn't raise taxes in a recession (Republican) and the argument that we shouldn't cut government spending in a recession (Democrat) are the same argument. By the way, Obama is President now.

Donald Pay

Obama is pursuing Republican-lite policies, by the way.

False arguments and bumper sticker economics get you nowhere. You can both raise and lower taxes in the right places and cut and raise spending in the right places. Raising taxes on the rich corporate executives and megacorps that offshore jobs to provide tax cuts and government spending for middle class job creators and innovation is what we need.

Bill Fleming

What is the sculpture in your visual, KB? And who is the artist? It's great.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: Your targeted taxes frequently miss their targets, as in the case of taxes on corporate jets. We've tried it before. What really counts, however, is the effect of taxation and public spending on the balance between consumption and investment. I suspect that the historical norm of 21% (revenues as a percentage of GDP) is about right.

Ken Blanchard

Bill: it is very striking. It's from the FDR memorial on the Mall in D.C. The memorial as a whole is way too big for its own good, but the sculpture is good enough for government work. The sculptor in this case is George Segal.

Ken Blanchard

Rev. Carpenter: I think that your explanation is a little more elaborate but compatible with mine. Yes, there was "enormous productive capacity which needed to be reallocated to civilian use", but that capacity obviously existed before the war; otherwise it could not have been ginned up during the war. I continue to think that the psychological effect of winning the war coupled with the self-discipline learned during the depression and the war best explain the post war productivity.

Donald Pay

When the wealth is at the top and the middle is hollowed out, you've got an economy that is broken, and "historical norms" won't work. Which historical norms, by the way? Republican leadership is in denial about what has happened to the economy. They get paid by the rich to ignore that their policies, followed over 30 years, have devastated the middle class, which is the generator of jobs and societal well-being.

Bill Fleming

Wow. That's what I would have guessed. I'm more accustomed to seeing his works in white patina. Thanks for the info, KB. Segal is a true master in my opinion.


Bill, that whole FDR memorial is amazing as it is massive. If I recall correctly, it has quartzite from SD as a part of it. I am not an art critic, but when I saw the the memorial for the first time about five years ago, I saw it as a fitting tribute to the father of big government.

Bill Fleming

That's the cool thing about art, DuggerSD. The viewer completes an immediate dynamic emotional transaction via the form. The "meaning" comes long after the fact in an effort to "explain" the feeling (a hopeless cause.) You're right, you're not an art critic. Be glad.



"They get paid by the rich to ignore that their policies, followed over 30 years, have devastated the middle class, which is the generator of jobs and societal well-being."

Who is in charge now?

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