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Barataria - The work of Erik Hare / erikhare.com

I don't break news, I fix it.

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I just want to point out that in the name of unity I left out some of the comments from disgruntled French people. I don't think that "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." is really all that useful for forming a new nation. 2019-04-01T15:14:47+00:00 Erik Hare
It comes down to how we would do any such thing. National sovereignty as we know it is generally rather absolute - though Iraqis in the audience can chime in now and tell me otherwise. That seems like an extreme position, but it's understandable. Arrangements like this were reached after decades of horrific war.

We do not know what to do with nations that have failed in some important way. These include Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, and probably a few others. Your list might be longer than mine. For example, is Saudi Arabia's terrible human rights record a "failure"?

I do not have the answers to everything. What I can say is that more and more people see themselves as citizens of the world. We're not all Rick Blaine in Casablanca, but I get the feeling that there's a certain tough outside with a soft inside which comes with that. I simply think it's worth exploring at this time.

My only solution is to develop a global sense of culture. Any global government of any kind has to come after that, IMHO. It may also nto be necessary if we do it right.
2019-03-26T15:24:55+00:00 Erik Hare
I have a little joke when I meet a struggling young painter. I ask them if they are a vegetarian, and if they are I tell them, "You're just like Hitler!"

(No, I don't do that very often. Like once. Yeah, it's not likely to be taken well.)

The point is that such comparisons are never useful. Should we have some kind of global entity? Well, a majority of people on this planet already do. What should it be? I'm a strongly federalist kind of guy, so I would say minimal.

In fact, what I am leading to in all of this is what I stated previously 0 that in a world where there is broad agreement on that is decent, moral, fair, and good there is little need for any such "government." I really think that's the direction we must go, no matter what.

So .. am I calling for a world government/ Not in the slightest. Not even close.

And eat your veggies if you want to grow up to be big and strong and command vast armies.
2019-03-26T15:19:33+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, and I agree completely. This is where I'm going with this, after the initial setup. I will be talking about Confucius, who I think organized the most universal concepts of ethics as succinctly as anyone ever could.

But I had to introduce the concept. I now think that a universal sense of ethics is critical, much more than any system we choose. We have to belong first and foremost to be an open society. That's where I'm going here.

I'll focus on details next. :-)
2019-03-20T17:51:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, there will be more about this. I don't want to go too far into pure sociology, but to me this is the main issue. How do we connect? How do we not disconnect some in the process of whatever we're doing? 2019-03-20T17:48:33+00:00 Erik Hare
And I support doing it the right way. That logically includes not setting arbitrary quotas and observing international law for those seeking asylum. It means supporting those who come here, possibly even tracking them to make sure they are OK. It means that we should be sure they have success, as we all do better when we all do better.

I won't argue with you on the main point, since we're taking this to a fundamental level of principle. But where these principles become practical matters of life and death, we are obviously failing. I only hope we can agree that our nation is stronger when those with the drive to make a better life for themselves arrive.

Adding that it should be done with a system to ensure that it is done well is also reasonable, IMHO. But what is the goal of that system?
2019-03-15T15:17:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Experience is needed, no doubt. We treat all of this as an orphan. But to me, fast freight may well be the future. Retail is moving online, and manufacturing is moving to JIT more all the time. Both of these are limited by shipping. Are there needs for this new economy that we are not providing? I do think that there are, and that fast rail may have some important answers. 2019-02-14T17:33:33+00:00 Erik Hare
It is a huge issue all over. We decided to go with air travel, it seems, and invested very heavily in that. Given our size, that makes sense, but we're reaching the density where trains make a lot more sense.

As for intra-urban - yeah, it's just not good at all. We have long devalued transportation. I think it shows in terms of access to the driving engines of our economy and how many people are simply left out. That' is, to me, what transportation is all about.
2019-02-14T17:31:43+00:00 Erik Hare
A very good point.

Denver airport, the last big one built from scratch, cost about $8 billion in today's money. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denver_International_Airport

Kansas City is considering a tiny airport that is experiencing big overruns, and is now at $1.9 billion. https://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2018/10/31/kci-costs-increase-as-airlines-aviation-department.html

If we had to replace all the airports in the US, and we more or less will in the next 30 years, it would easily cost $1 trillion. So I think it's safe to ask ourselves what the best investment in infrastructure would be given what we know has to take place in terms of rebuilding what we have over time.

An excellent point. Thank you.
2019-02-13T17:42:51+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree all around. It's never a good idea to fully extrapolate from what an authoritarian government can do in infrastructure. There are a lot of aspects of how they do things what we may not be able to tolerate - and you and I have seen some of that behavior in action as it is.

There is little doubt in my mind that the ability to conceive, manage, and execute projects like this is extremely lacking in the US as a whole. We're just not competent. And there's no excuse for that.

We can learn something from China, without a doubt. They learned from Germany. We can all learn from each other and do a lot of things better. That's my main point.

Is a high-speed rail network across the US a good idea? I think it could be, especially as a way of transforming shipment and connecting factories with consumers directly - pure JIT. But we're not talking about that very much.

Certainly, the costs we have are at least double, maybe more, given our known failures. Let's change that first and work out a vision. If it makes sense, let's do it.

As it stands now we are clearly unable to deliver what we need, however.
2019-02-13T17:30:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! More complex societies can be much stronger, but they can also be more brittle. Resiliency is something that I think has to be designed in from the start, which is why it's a key component of People's Economics (under Dynamic Stability).

There is indeed a quality to every connection, and the lower the quality the more entropy there is. Connections can indeed decay and entropy can increase. I think my main point here is that this perspective is a first step towards building in that resilience that is so necessary in any society where only a tiny percentage of the people create food.

There are a lot of papers on systems collapse. Here's one. But you have an excellent point, one that is going to only be more important all the time. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B978012586050550035X
2019-01-19T00:15:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Ha! Yes, there is a lot more to it. Later. :-) 2019-01-19T00:11:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Also, worthy of note, the need to use Greek is important not just because it's so handy for creating words but also from some of the great connections made by Alexander circa 2,500 years ago. 2019-01-18T18:44:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. That is the term for things that have been connected. Another possibility was syndesiology, or the study of connecting, but that sounds horrible. I think it should go with economics and politics, where -ics describes a body of knowledge and practice. 2019-01-18T18:43:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Here is a good background on Quirinius https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nZSFMuOdEo 2018-12-23T16:42:17+00:00 Erik Hare
I have in the past, but you are right. It is the real reason for all of this. 2018-12-23T16:41:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2018-12-23T16:41:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank Gini! I've gotten so much from you over the years that anything I can do to return the favor is indeed my pleasure. 2018-12-18T16:17:25+00:00 Erik Hare
This is the first time I've done this, so let's be really open. The content was NOT reviewed in advance, and I volunteered to be part of the campaign because I really do love this book.

What's different here? In many ways, this is indeed just an evolution of marketing from long ago. But it's far more insidious, and now backed by tons of personal data. It's directed and targeted. And very, very well refined.
2018-12-17T21:05:19+00:00 Erik Hare
I have a few on the history of finance I could recommend for you, too. This is the first great book on trends in marketing that I have seen. 2018-12-17T20:17:10+00:00 Erik Hare
I think you will like it a lot. It's to the point without getting cynical or conspiratorial. 2018-12-17T20:16:11+00:00 Erik Hare
It's a fast read, but it will take you into some serious research on your own. Yeah, that'll eat up yer spare time. :-) But it's very worth it. 2018-12-17T20:07:37+00:00 Erik Hare
There seems to be A LOT wrong with them, yes. But I think most of it stems from this kind of thinking. They have to keep the factories running, there are always economies of scale. That makes them risk adverse among all the other problems, which I think is what is wrong with the Bolt.

Oh, and everyone has to be completely on board before anything happens.
2018-12-08T00:20:18+00:00 Erik Hare
We would have gotten our quarterly profit goal if it weren't for you meddling kids!

Seriously, the old industrial model has to be the biggest force for conformity and homogeneity that we had. It wasn't just political order, it was where all money came from. You wouldn't want to mess with that, would you? Noswshut yer mouth and then open it up to eat food from cans and things like that.

There is a place for leadership in the market model, so there is a place for supply-side push. I've been thinking about this some for the purposes of People's Economics, but generally it's a very different animal than the old industrial model, IMHO.
2018-12-08T00:18:38+00:00 Erik Hare
"Simple & Deep" I think is what you mean. Yes, this is a good example of that! 2018-11-30T18:01:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you for sharing! 2018-11-30T18:01:26+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. Yes, as everyone tells me, it is too much. This is why I have to get the book organized - to go over all the details. But I wanted to have the structure first.

People do have to have the joy of learning, which I think starts from good experience learning. This applies to kids and adults both. For adults it has to have application, too. For the whole economy it has to have the ability to take action and move forward. This is what People's Economics is all about - what do we need to be sure that the next economy is one which people master, rather than submit to?

It has to be all about skill. Techne, simply means skill - technology is the study of skill. Without that, we have nothing.
2018-11-13T16:20:37+00:00 Erik Hare
That's the whole issue, isn't it? It gets long. But organization is key, as are the stories that make it come alive. 2018-11-09T21:40:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, there is a lot more to it. I will be filling in more detail as I can. 2018-11-09T21:40:13+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm outlining principles here, not specific policies. Some of these are radical enough that they need to be fleshed out as principles first, I'm sorry to say. The need for a multiple intelligences based system is far, far from well known let alone accepted. 2018-11-09T21:39:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I would love to discuss this with you much further. I will be reading your blog. Thank you. 2018-11-09T21:38:23+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope she can recover from this, but I think it is unlikely. Race is such a poison that a misstep in this area causes a lot of damage. That's my problem with this. We will see how it plays out more generally, however. But the rest I am sure of - we do have to fight back, but it can never, ever be on their terms. 2018-10-17T18:06:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Moi? :-) Yes, a lot more. This is actually part of People's Economics. I am convinced that equal access to markets is thwarted by business cycles. Getting out of poverty requires stability, and the lack of it is worth investigating. Given these long-range cycles as a fact, what drives them? If it's debt, then the use of debt has to be curtailed.

In the end, I'm re-thinking the entire "time value of money" trope and the concept of interest. I do not want to presume inflation, for example, and I feel it's built into our system.
2018-10-03T18:21:23+00:00 Erik Hare
You are right, it probably has. One thing I cut out due to length, and may revisit again, is that this is a much more serious problem in a time of rising interest rates. But the Fed appears to be protecting the stock market by raising rates very slowly - despite obvious inflation well over their 2% target. If that situation corrected itself and the Fed Funds Rate was up about 5% like it should be, a collapse would be totally unavoidable. So yes, by all rights you are spot on. 2018-09-26T15:17:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Again, the interests align here which is what I really meant. Looking at this things from a strictly national perspective is tricky in that it does leave out what's important, but that is what I meant this time. Everyone would benefit from some capital controls and other re-alignment of how trade is conducted, particularly the end of the US Dollar as the world currency. 2018-09-19T17:11:45+00:00 Erik Hare
You are absolutely right! A fair criticism, for sure. What I would add is that the interests of labor align remarkably well with many of these issues, too. Capital restrictions are a good example of controlling the rich without damaging jobs and farm income. That's really the main point.
2018-09-19T15:56:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Fixed, thank you! 2018-06-25T16:43:29+00:00 Erik Hare
I would not be so sure that your family was completely legal. Many, many people came here after 1924 in violation of the quotas that were put in place. I would advise checking that out carefully. And there is no shame in how "our people" came here, some of mine were indeed refugees.
The definition of "illegal" is what is at issue here. Yes, a law was passed and people are not allowed in. Is that law reasonable or just? Is that law actually who we are as a people? That is what has to change. And it can. We have to be better.
There is no doubt in my mind that there will be a greater demand for immigrants, not less. As it is, the current crackdown has many crops rotting in fields. We have no connection between our policies and reality. Why not? Why are we so very nasty when it is clear there is work to be done left undone by those who are here?
None of it makes sense. That's the problem, and that's something I'll get into more later. Meanwhile, there is this piece from 4.5 years ago which I stand behind still:
2018-06-20T15:47:46+00:00 Erik Hare
I suppose that I should add that this post is in response to several conversations I've had with people defending the administration. Most of the excuses I cannot stand, and frankly bring me to tears thinking that people can make excuses for child abuse. But those who have said that "Clinton did it, too!" were not offering a valid excuse but they sure had a point. They forced me to consider again what I've long known - that our immigration policies are a horror. So I should thank them for that lesson. 2018-06-20T15:42:22+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that they have a path to promote China through economic and diplomatic power. I expect them to stay with that. Their ability to project power outside their borders is very limited. Even with the sea trials of the (unnamed) second aircraft carrier they really can't create too much havoc. 2018-05-21T18:18:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. it is irreversible at this point, it's only a matter of how fast our position will melt down.

It appears that this will be quick. We have this statement today:


(Note: This is not possible, given that the SWIFT network will remain connected.)
2018-05-21T18:07:44+00:00 Erik Hare
This is the end of the American Empire, for sure. We will have no allies once this is all done. 2018-05-09T16:36:57+00:00 Erik Hare
We learned nothing. Not a thing. 2018-05-09T16:36:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. 2018-05-09T16:36:23+00:00 Erik Hare
We are indeed only at the beginning. There is still time to undo this damage, but not much. 2018-05-09T16:36:16+00:00 Erik Hare

Are you assuming that mass media manipulation in bulk is equally as effective as personalized, targeted messages that speak directly to an individuals values, fears, and experiences?
2018-03-20T19:06:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Part of me agrees with you. We have to be more intelligent about all of the information we consume. But there is also a public trust issue that I think calls for disclosure, the bedrock of regulation. What I'm seeing about the UK law, requiring disclosure of how information is used, I like. 2018-03-20T19:04:57+00:00 Erik Hare
And it happens constantly, usually by people with something to sell you. Politics? Feh. 2018-03-20T19:03:28+00:00 Erik Hare
The last few months show an acceleration. It's very not good. 2018-02-14T20:31:00+00:00 Erik Hare
I know for a fact that many people do not consider me to be a Christian. I have been told this directly. And I do not begrudge anyone their beliefs, certainly. But when they say their beliefs came from Jesus and they most certainly did not? What should we say?

I see nothing wrong with asserting that those who do not follow what Jesus taught are not actually Christian. This does not condemn them to Hell or anything like that. It simply means that wherever they got their beliefs it certainly wasn't from Jesus. And I think we can easily show that.
2018-02-07T18:36:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. I explained a little more in the follow-up as to what to watch. Your point about controlling immigration in the face of full employment is also critical. There is often little that policy can do to make things much better, but it can always make things much worse. We are seeing that, I'm afraid.
2018-02-07T18:20:24+00:00 Erik Hare
My pleasure! Please, any questions you might have I'll do my best to answer or at least find a good article that addresses them. 2018-02-07T16:51:50+00:00 Erik Hare
You are right, I have neglected all signs of a recession. My general assumption is that the underlying economy is strong. But there is a chance that short-term rates might bid up first and the curve inverts. That would be very bad. 2018-02-07T16:51:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it is about the debt at some point. I'm all in favor of a budget being out of whack in a major downturn, as it was in 2008-2012. But right now it should be balanced or even in surplus.

To me, the fact that the Feds do not separate ordinary expenditures from capital expenditures is appalling. Racking up debt as a legitimate investment is one thing, but just to pay the bills? The ultimate amount is still important, but the first question we should be asking is why we have a deficit. If it's for infrastructure, it may be justified.

So there are many ways to look at this as far as I am concerned. All of them point to this being a terrible way to run things right now. And there will be a reckoning - I think very shortly given the three things I have pointed out coming together.
2018-02-06T17:36:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, but I said the same thing with more words and a few graphs. :-) Seriously, that is about how it goes. There are some underlying reasons as to why, for those who want to get into it, but intuition can tell you a lot as well. 2018-02-06T17:33:13+00:00 Erik Hare
The market got ahead of itself, is all.


This is a good article which attempts to justify the current stock market valuation. But I think it fails for the reasons outlined in the above piece.

The mark they set for justifying current valuation is a 10yr yield at 4.2%. At 2.8% they are not worried.

If you take a net spread between the FFR and the 10yr of around 1.2, as it is now, we could easily see a FFR around 3.0 and a 10yr at 4.2. But it's more reasonable that we'll go more in the 3.5 FFR and a more average 1.6 spread, or 5.1. And worst case is more in the 5.0 and 2.0 range in the next 2 years, or a 10yr of 7% !!

So what is the market worth? I'd say we have to lose about 20-25%, which is one Hell of a haircut. That puts the DJIA under 20k, for example, maybe as low as 18k.

It's not that the economy isn't strong, it's that it's so strong and the deficit is growing, meaning the 10yr just plain has to rise - perhaps substantially.
2018-02-05T22:03:06+00:00 Erik Hare
We are in the same range. I'm doing my best to come up with some good predictions for my next post, but to be honest the chartist people I've read so far are really in denial. I can't find support levels which make a lot of sense to me. 2018-02-05T21:57:55+00:00 Erik Hare
It was and was not a bubble. If you believe the best case scenario, valuations were justified. If anything went wrong not so much. That's where we are at - things are going wrong. 2018-02-05T21:57:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Basically, Yes! That is about it. And so the Pope and the Dalai Lama are one. :-) 2017-12-16T21:30:50+00:00 Erik Hare
How it got where it is remains a mystery to me, I have to say. I have long thought about charting out all the various Christian faiths and laying out the key differences to gain some insight as to how so many extra-Christian things were absorbed.

On a personal note, among my eight great-grandparents there are eight difference Christian faiths. I have spent a lifetime trying to understand this.
2017-12-16T21:30:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much. I hope to challenge just the right amount to open hearts and minds to possibilities. If nothing else, we have much more reason to get along than to be in conflict. I'd like to start there. 2017-12-16T21:27:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, and Merry Christmas. I am doing my best and hope to keep doing it. 2017-12-16T21:27:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. 2017-12-16T21:25:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much. Yes, you caught me! I am preaching, indeed. I don't really want to, but I feel that this is a message that the world needs. I want to present it with humility and as much care as possible. 2017-12-16T21:24:54+00:00 Erik Hare
I believe there is. 2017-12-16T21:24:03+00:00 Erik Hare
A very, very good point. 2017-12-16T21:22:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. Exactly what to make of the Old Testament is difficult. I later presented the Sermon on the Mount exactly as it is because that is where my sense of faith, the Anabaptists or Amish/Mennonite/Brethren comes from. No matter what, I think that seeing it all through the grace of Jesus has to be a starting point - which is to say starting with love and decency. If someone or some faith is opposed to homosexuality I can understand this, but I cannot understand being nasty. 2017-12-16T21:22:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Very good. There is a lot of historical interpretation, and I am willing to accept that. For example, Evangelium Vitae teaches that the Catholic Church is pro-life in every possible sense of the term. Is that exactly what Jesus taught? No, but it is consistent and honorable. It is also taught in a way that emphasizes the direction of the hearts of believers and not political action in conflict with other institutions which include non-believers. It's completely different in that sense. 2017-12-16T21:18:58+00:00 Erik Hare
It most definitely is not. Their agenda is NOT the Bible, not by a longshot. It is made up and they use Jesus for cover. It is despicable if you ask me. People can be against abortion and I can understand that. Don't tell me Jesus said so. And don't lie and treat people like dirt for not following that false witness against Jesus. 2017-12-16T21:13:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. Yes, we can all find various things we like or dislike in any statement of faith. But we also all know decency when we see it, and that is indeed the root of the teachings of Jesus and his followers. So let's just start there and point out where that failure occurs. It's pretty straightforward and easy. 2017-12-16T21:12:13+00:00 Erik Hare
It is beyond astonishing that they follow that man. He fits the description of Satan so much better than that of Jesus. It's not my place to anyone who is worthy of following, but I can say that this is clearly not what Jesus taught.
I also prefer King James, as I was raised with it. But the language of the NIV is more contemporary, so I thought it would reach a wider audience. :-)
2017-12-16T21:10:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. I have had my fill of this and have decided it's long past time for me to be shy about my own personal studies and beliefs. I do not wish to be like them so I've been private for a long time. But that silence is starting to feel like complicity. 2017-12-16T21:08:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Again, it's presented here without comment for you to make up your own mind. For one, it's worth comparing to what you have been told Christianity is about. For another, I could go through paragraph by paragraph and point out the parts which are Jewish, Buddhist, Daoist, or a mixture. What is important here is that the actual words of Jesus are almost never presented unfiltered. I find that appalling, especially for such an historically important figure. 2017-12-15T00:27:10+00:00 Erik Hare
It it, indeed, but people are watching. That hasn't always been true. 2017-11-27T18:12:26+00:00 Erik Hare
And it is likely to happen at some point here, if it hasn't already. I can't see the Democrats raising much without any kind of plan, and the Republicans are unlikely to produce anything. So gridlock may actually be good for something? 2017-11-27T18:12:05+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope that we are indeed really trashing "The Great Man Theory" all together. Then again, look at what a hero some have made of Tesla in the process of trashing Edison. Truth is somewhere in between, both men were mortals. 2017-11-17T21:40:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, a good point. 2017-11-17T21:38:38+00:00 Erik Hare
It is unfair to compare Sanders, and I did not mean to. There is a lot of hope that in defeat his supporters are turning towards running for local offices themselves, which is exactly what has to be done. So that alone is a critical difference.
People always have their heroes, I guess, and it is hard to say exactly why. But I do think that taken to the extreme, that only a hero or a christ figure can save us, is a recipe for something horrible.
2017-11-17T21:38:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-11-10T20:54:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I am pretty sure this is what a lot of people, especially the third or so that is "independent," tend to do. You put up good people and you win the independent vote. That's about all there is. 2017-11-10T20:54:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much. This takes me back to my childhood, when some of this was still around. 2017-11-09T21:12:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Someone asked me in mail how this would stop over-regulation or arguments that we are over-regulated. I would say this - I think we can see what percentage of all regulations are at various levels and judge from there. I would think a split on levels 1/2/3/4 would be around 52/27/14/7 percent - which is to say each more onerous level is 1/2 as common as the previous one. If it doesn't come out that way, why? It would give us a way of judging how tough things are and how focused they are on the goals. 2017-11-06T02:33:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that maybe we should start with small things we can sneak through. It would help build a centrist coalition through shared work and common purpose. This is a strategy much better suite for someone in congress, not in the position I have as a nobody, but it's an idea. 2017-11-06T02:29:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Regarding racism and sexism, which are very similar in many ways - I do think that European Americans, especially men, do understand at their core that they are privileged. We are members of a ruling class. The problem comes when so many of us are struggling on a daily basis just like anyone else. There's a disconnect there between what we feel in our guts, learned at a young age, and the reality of the world. Someone lied to us, and it's much easier to say that the adult everyday life is simply corrupt and holding us back than to challenge the beliefs at our core, to realize that we are not an inherent ruling class.
Perhaps that is what has broken down. There is definitely a rise of those who are different - by race, by gender and sexual preference, by non-Christian faith - which is itself something of a backlash to the enforced homogeny of our world. Feminism is much more difficult, as I said before, because it works through so many people with so many experiences and it redefines the family, but it is also rising up and challenging the conformity.
We have to deal with it. I see a lot of good things here, and thank you all for it. I am focusing on conformity right now, along with the idea that privilege is actually well understood at a gut level. I am also thinking about how we just start making headway one issue at a time, acknowledging that shared work is the best way to bring people together.
2017-11-03T15:56:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Ignoring those in pain is probably a good start, but I'd like to offer them something to heal their pain. We need to get beyond it somehow. I do think being a lot more formal, essentially backing up a bit, would help a lot. There is a basic assumption that we are all the same or that we should be, which sounds like a noble expression of egalitarianism. It doesn't always work out that way, as Marlene pointed out. There has to be room for people to be different and comfortable expressing that. 2017-11-03T15:50:23+00:00 Erik Hare
So you see some of the symptoms as a diseases in themselves, a general neglect of everything that would make us "one people"? I can see that, but I wonder if there isn't one bigger thing at the core. For example, in the two party problem (which I agree is a problem) - why aren't we demanding better? Why did about half of voters pick an obviously unthnking, immoral person under the guise of just draining the swamp, burning it all down, causing change any way they could? Why not organize for more effective change?
There is a terrible neglect of the public space of our world, a huge tragedy of the commons. That's why I go to excessive individualism. I don't disagree that fixing each of these one at a time may be the only thing we have to do, but we have to get people engaged before any good solution will happen for any of them.
I don't see that happening in a constructive way right now.
2017-11-03T15:10:52+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. I know my initial impulse in terms of moral / emotional crisis is not a good one, which is why I asked.
Perhaps less has actually changed than we think, we're just more aware of it now than we used to be. Confronting things like racism is very painful and it is causing people to feel like they are under siege. Confront sexism is only going to be worse as it is embedded in every family structure.
European Americans, white people, are very conformist by nature. But what is expected of us today, in a more diverse world? Is it possibly the opposite of individualism which is breaking down, was I completely 180 degrees off? Perhaps.
2017-11-03T15:06:23+00:00 Erik Hare
It is both a new policy and an extension of the old policy. We're in it for ourselves. 2017-09-22T16:18:53+00:00 Erik Hare
It's not Obamacare the clock is running out on, it's just the ability to repeal it with only 50 votes. 2017-09-22T16:18:21+00:00 Erik Hare
I would love to read that, and I am thinking about it for People's Economics. The thing is that no other nation has the problem the way we do. We can find literally dozens of good systems which work better than ours. It doesn't really seem to matter which model we choose - the commitment to quality care without someone outside the system making a profit is critical. Incidentally, it's not just profit which is a problem, but a lack of uniform billing - it takes loads of worker hours just to figure out a bill and then how to pay a bill, etc. I was just told by someone in a biz like this that they offer a 30% cash discount because they don't have the insurance hassles. There you go. 2017-09-06T02:49:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, with all of the training necessary to be a pharmacist, I see no reason why they couldn't prescribe things like this. In Germany there is a national registration so my use of antibiotics would be recorded. I think this is reasonable - it's not good to use them willy-nilly. But a pharmacist can certainly handle this. Nurses can handle many small things, too. That is definitely part of the lesson here. 2017-09-06T02:46:36+00:00 Erik Hare
It is dysfunctional in so many ways, it's hard to know where to start. There is no clear knowledge of what anything "costs" or what's really involved. 2017-09-06T02:44:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly! This wasn't a very good experiment, was it? But then again, I wanted to get it over with. 2017-09-06T02:43:54+00:00 Erik Hare
A quick search gave me no idea how much it "really costs". It will take time, so I decided to write this blankly. Yes, I would like to know. I was thinking about trying some neosporin, but it is my eye .... pH differences and all, so I didn't. I thought I'd try to do it "right". My guess is that the $252 is the insurance cost, which is to say that they can get away with it. Some guy off the street? I wonder what the brand-name expensive one was now. 2017-09-06T02:43:15+00:00 Erik Hare
I was thinking the same thing. I am guessing that she has no idea what things cost. 2017-09-06T02:41:07+00:00 Erik Hare
You are right! Thinking about it, the way kids get interested is that they want to build robots. They start with legos and learn to bolt and rivet and machine. Some of them then want to go back and have solid instruction on the real basics of machining or similar. But it starts out with a desire to make something useful and fun, usually something which has a lot of different skills tied together. 2017-08-18T17:00:08+00:00 Erik Hare
There may not be a general "hate speech" category, but in the case of Nazism it does seem that a good case can be made that this is all about killing and death. 2017-08-18T15:32:12+00:00 Erik Hare
It's really about the equipment needed and the level of skill. It may not be important at all. I do think that it's generally going to be best to start with the original ones and work to higher skills, but some people are going to have an interest in the advanced ones right away, yes. 2017-08-18T15:29:54+00:00 Erik Hare
I don’t believe it’s gotten that bad yet, but I understand How you might come to the conclusion that it has. Or is at the very least close to it.

But I think we can both understand that a civilized Democratic Republic cannot be there, no matter what. I would like to start with that
2017-08-18T00:44:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that's what we all want. Sadly, we can only make it stop for ourselves. 2017-08-17T20:47:10+00:00 Erik Hare
Anyone may use any content here as long as there is attribution. I would prefer that this comes in the form of a link. By all means, use what you want - and feel free to go back through some of the more constructive conversations on People's Economics and so on. Thanks! 2017-08-15T16:38:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Is that flag "fighting words," and thus not protected? Part of me thinks it is. I really hate to go there, but it is something to think about. When I see a swastika I immediately become outraged - and I don't outrage easily. It's way, way over the line. 2017-08-15T16:37:03+00:00 Erik Hare
They can't play the game anymore, it's clearly not a game. Where we go from here will be telling. It may be how it all had to come down for us to confront the ghosts which haunt us directly. This may simply be how our generation has to finish the struggle engaged long ago. 2017-08-15T16:35:36+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point, it has not been resolved in our hearts. Previous generations thought it was, and died to make it so. But it's still there.
There is something about Virginia and that is what I was trying to capture. It knows better, but it has trouble acting better. Always has. In that way it's a crystallized essence of all of America.
2017-08-15T16:34:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen - history teaches us a lot if we are willing to learn. 2017-08-15T16:32:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-08-15T16:32:00+00:00 Erik Hare
It's our generation's turn. What will we do? It won't take 400,000 Americans dying, but are we willing to give what it takes? 2017-08-15T16:31:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much. 2017-08-15T16:31:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Being able to survive on your own in the wilderness is an amazing set of skills. I am always fascinating by this. 2017-08-04T21:19:15+00:00 Erik Hare
This is what it will take to stop him. 2017-08-04T21:18:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, it seems endless. The example of MH17 being shot down was illustrative. They were caught fabricating a photo of it being shot down from a plane and then went right on to keep denying and pushing other theories. 2017-08-04T21:18:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it is. 2017-08-02T20:50:30+00:00 Erik Hare
This can only be described as a diversion. I didn't mention the activities of many nations, including the US, Iran, UK, Saudi Arabia, etc. Are we to imply from your posting that there is an equivalence implied? Or that we can't possibly do anything about Russia because our nation does awful things? None of these statements make any sense.

This testimony stands on its own, as it should. Please stop with the diversions, no matter what your intentions are.
2017-08-02T20:50:15+00:00 Erik Hare
There is no way to stop this. Are we the global police? I don't see that we can be. But we need to be honest about what we are dealing with - and Putin is clearly a threat. 2017-08-02T20:48:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, there is no doubt this will all be connected. The main focus of Brower is the warning that everything in Russia is perfectly corrupt and organized from the top. And that they will do anything. 2017-08-02T14:48:33+00:00 Erik Hare
Not exactly. But let's ditch the -isms anyway. :-) 2017-07-31T18:41:26+00:00 Erik Hare
THAT is what I'm writing about. 2017-07-31T18:41:04+00:00 Erik Hare
It's from the Depression, essentially, but it's been very addictive since then. 2017-07-31T18:40:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, I will do that!
2017-07-31T18:40:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, that is a good quote and I am going to use that in People's Economics. I have been wondering how to introduce Freakanomics to my work and this is a good way to go about it. 2017-07-31T14:12:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. This is the company where workers in China went to the roof and threatened to jump off en masse if working conditions didn't improve. 2017-07-31T14:12:05+00:00 Erik Hare
It will be wonderful! 2017-07-25T20:58:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-07-21T17:07:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. It is a new era of exploration - of the universe, but more importantly of what it means to be human! 2017-07-21T17:06:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I think I do have something. It's going along well. It may be more Democratic, yes, as I am one. But it's definitely a game-changer if you think it through. 2017-07-21T14:59:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you for your support! 2017-07-21T14:59:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it's just more nonsense. Let's start with this:
But no matter what, it's nothing compared to being a major money launderer for the Bratva. Especially when they wind up electing you president. There is simply no comparison here, and trying to make one is foolish.
2017-07-21T14:59:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-07-21T14:58:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much. No matter how you feel about the guy, the fact that this was lost is just strange. 2017-07-21T14:57:53+00:00 Erik Hare
By all means, use anything you like as long as there is attribution. Thanks! 2017-07-20T17:21:11+00:00 Erik Hare
To some extent, it's always been like this. We're just seeing it more clearly now. But yes, it is terribly disheartening. 2017-07-10T16:11:30+00:00 Erik Hare
It should be. See the above comment, there is a reason for it. Jargon is everywhere, but it is potentially dangerous. 2017-07-05T14:01:44+00:00 Erik Hare
I'd appreciate your questions and additions. Seriously, if you could take the time it would surely make things better.
Emanuel Macron - "We don't need new ideologies, we need new methods."
2017-07-05T14:01:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Bingo. But we have to contend with this nonsense. Labels are an important way that people who don't really understand everything can be a part of the conversation. There's a yin and yang to that. On the one hand, in a representative democracy people do need to be engaged, even partially. On the other hand .... well, what I wrote about here.
At this point, I have to agree with you. -isms are really just dangerous.
2017-07-05T13:59:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-07-03T19:11:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, all the best to you! 2017-07-03T19:11:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! But I see a small mistake to correct ... :-) 2017-07-03T19:11:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-07-03T19:11:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Bingo. We could learn from that, IMHO! 2017-07-03T19:10:44+00:00 Erik Hare
It will be good. Cheers! 2017-07-03T19:10:25+00:00 Erik Hare
But it is good - the beer, too. :-) 2017-07-03T19:10:04+00:00 Erik Hare
You win this round😃 2017-06-30T00:16:56+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! There is a big turning point in the growth of an organization or a business and this is just one of the things which feeds into it. Someone who is good at starting something may not be good at sustaining it. I don't know that this is the most important part of the differences in mindset but I suspect it is there. Thanks for your observation! 2017-06-28T15:44:37+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-06-28T15:43:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Not really, it's just a "thing". I was told about it and have always found it hilarious. How much faith do you have in Canadian Tire versus, say, the national government? :-) 2017-06-28T15:43:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! That isn't my main point, but I think it is a valid way of looking at it. My main point is that something new, which is based on people and delivered to people, has to be the answer. 2017-06-26T16:18:29+00:00 Erik Hare
I think I have less of a clue as to what it's for every day. 2017-06-26T16:17:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much it was my pleasure to have you visit 2017-06-26T01:27:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. It is time. 2017-06-21T15:25:49+00:00 Erik Hare
It has to happen, for a lot of reasons. Time to reboot my life. 2017-06-21T15:25:37+00:00 Erik Hare
It is about the free market - what it takes to make and sustain one. I will heed your warning gladly. Thanks! 2017-06-20T20:25:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Will do. I think roundtable discussion is at least called for - with regular, non-university folks.
2017-06-20T20:24:45+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. I think philosophy is a good enough word. 2017-06-20T20:24:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Any useful analysis of economics includes prediction. And that can't happen without understanding people. Simply understanding that it's about much more than numbers leads us to take people's choices into consideration, which is to say look at people. It changes your mind immediately as to what is important.

Money doesn't make decisions. It is just a way of keeping score.
2017-06-20T20:23:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! You have a good one there. It's one I'm loathe to make good use of for strange reasons. I need to get over it. 2017-06-20T20:22:21+00:00 Erik Hare
I think I have to. It's the calling. 2017-06-16T20:27:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. But she thought she could pull this off. I think she is wrong. Let's see. 2017-06-15T16:47:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Only we, the consumers, can make it about more than our money. I hope I can provide tools for evaluating quality so that the free market can work more effectively. 2017-06-15T16:46:37+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree it isn't journalism because it will not enlighten. She also is going to be sucked into the next chapter of his story, which is a huge journalism no-no. 2017-06-15T16:45:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Let's see how she does. I predict that no one can take him on successfully in a setting devoid of context. Only the Sandy Hook parents can take him down. 2017-06-15T16:45:12+00:00 Erik Hare
It does need more. But perhaps not as much as you might think - Macron is indeed the point. 2017-06-15T16:44:15+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree. The idea is to generate excitement with the shiny object of tech. It isn't enough by itself, so success early on with transforming lives will have to be reached. So your criticism is not only valid, it points to the primary goal - generate some real "Oprah moments". 2017-06-15T16:43:36+00:00 Erik Hare
But I already knew all that! ;-)
2017-06-09T18:07:03+00:00 Erik Hare
They may be. But it will be a slow process. 2017-06-09T18:06:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point. I lost track of that one. Yeesh. 2017-06-08T19:35:07+00:00 Erik Hare
This is a tribal identity, first and foremost. I would say that a solid third or so on each side is completely intractable and unable to be reasonable. I do favor one side over the other, sure, but there is always room to argue. 2017-06-08T19:34:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Probably only once Democrats take it. See the "logic" above for an example as to how everyone can talk past each other and ignore the obvious mental deficiencies on "their side". 2017-06-07T17:32:42+00:00 Erik Hare
And this disconnected statement has to do with the topic at hand in what way? 2017-06-07T17:31:40+00:00 Erik Hare
His accent sounds so innocent most of the time. He's like a little kid commenting on how crazy the "adults" are. I really like him. 2017-06-05T13:58:42+00:00 Erik Hare
The fun ... :-) 2017-06-05T13:58:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Ha! Yes, well ... some of us are more like that than others .. :-) 2017-06-02T20:44:55+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you!
2017-06-02T20:44:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. We have a lot of work to do. 2017-06-02T20:44:22+00:00 Erik Hare
My pleasure, and thank you for reading! 2017-06-02T15:02:14+00:00 Erik Hare
That is definitely Problem A. But I do think that in gender issues it's really a small minority who are genuinely sexist about this and are totally focused on maintaining their power and privilege. They are by far the most vocal, too, so they dominate all discussion. That has to change. 2017-06-02T15:01:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, the rapid change. What is expected of us in this new world? It's a lot less clear. Most men I know have been caught in a trap where they were trying to do the right thing but it came out wrong somehow. Little things like trying to be just the right level of supportive without dominating or "manspalining" are minefields.

Yes, we need to be a culture of empowerment. None of us will get it right all the time, but we have to at least try - and keep an open dialogue. Language is crucial for this. As it stands now far too much of our gender language puts everything, absolutely everything, on women. That has to change.
2017-06-02T15:00:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, Women's Rights are Human Rights. I am attempting to engage in a conversation beyond where we usually do, however. Men need to be a part of this, especially the men who never speak up because their voices are a bit unsure. 2017-06-02T14:57:39+00:00 Erik Hare
It is comical, at least from afar. Here it is tragedy. How anyone can believe this con artist is beyond me. 2017-06-02T14:56:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Far too interesting! 2017-06-02T14:55:33+00:00 Erik Hare
I certainly do, and thank you! 2017-06-02T14:55:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much 2017-06-02T14:55:00+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope so! 2017-05-26T20:18:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-05-26T20:18:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Something happen? 2017-05-26T20:18:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-05-26T20:18:31+00:00 Erik Hare
It does seem like that's what this is all about. He gets to be the eternal martyr to millions. 2017-05-26T20:18:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-05-26T20:17:51+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, this will get worse. 2017-05-26T20:17:46+00:00 Erik Hare
It's hard to say anything from far away, but no one can say that this is healthy behavior. 2017-05-26T20:17:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Great stuff there, thank you!
2017-05-26T20:16:51+00:00 Erik Hare
Is that supposed to actually mean something? 2017-05-24T01:36:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Probably. if we do go in, it should be careful and measured - and with as much international backing as possible. 2017-05-19T14:58:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Very much so. And I tell you, ISIS is not worth it. 2017-05-19T13:55:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Major wars do start like this. I prefer WWI parallels but yes, that is what the problem is. 2017-05-19T13:55:10+00:00 Erik Hare
That is indeed what I am worried about.
2017-05-19T13:54:29+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. And that might well be a good thing. Polarization is not suiting us as well. Our system requires consensus. 2017-05-18T13:18:04+00:00 Erik Hare
It's all hard for us to imagine, but it appears real enough. 2017-05-18T13:17:27+00:00 Erik Hare
I like it! A party based on respect! It's all about sitting down and talking things through. 2017-05-17T15:08:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-05-17T15:07:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Funny, I went right from this post to thinking about this as well. So we only have 3.5 dimensions in our perception of the universe - who's to say there aren't more? 2017-05-17T15:07:14+00:00 Erik Hare
I may go a bit far, but I do think that in place of what anyone might call "political correctness" we should be insisting on "respect" and/or "decency". That is inherently formal, yes. 2017-05-15T17:52:45+00:00 Erik Hare
At the heart of it, to me, is showing proper respect. The assumption that a stranger is your friend is really strange. It can be very insulting. 2017-05-15T17:52:02+00:00 Erik Hare
I think we are moving that way. God save the Republic. 2017-05-12T17:26:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Allright, let's confront it this time. We are getting a do-over whether we like it or not. 2017-05-12T17:25:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. 2017-05-12T17:25:09+00:00 Erik Hare
We must speak with clarity and urgency. Nothing else matters. He is insane.

This will get very dark but we can hold the candles up bravely.
2017-05-12T17:25:01+00:00 Erik Hare
You are right, there are two immediate problems. I think the first will resolve itself as the insanity becomes more clear - which is why I think we have to speak in clear, concise, language. He is insane.
The second problem I am afraid we will have to deal with when we have to deal with it.
2017-05-12T17:24:00+00:00 Erik Hare
From the wikipedia article on insanity. I think we have met the legal definition. He cannot distinguish right from wrong because his understanding of reality is at best very limited:

In United States criminal law, insanity may serve as an affirmative defense to criminal acts and thus does not need to negate an element of the prosecution's case such as general or specific intent.[11] Each U.S. state differs somewhat in its definition of insanity but most follow the guidelines of the Model Penal Code. All jurisdictions require a sanity evaluation to address the question first of whether or not the defendant has a mental illness.

Most courts accept a major mental illness such as psychosis but will not accept the diagnosis of a personality disorder for the purposes of an insanity defense. The second question is whether the mental illness interfered with the defendant's ability to distinguish right from wrong. That is, did the defendant know that the alleged behavior was against the law at the time the offense was committed.

Additionally, some jurisdictions add the question of whether or not the defendant was in control of their behavior at the time of the offense. For example, if the defendant was compelled by some aspect of their mental illness to commit the illegal act, the defendant could be evaluated as not in control of their behavior at the time of the offense.
2017-05-12T17:22:39+00:00 Erik Hare
I have to reluctantly agree with some of that.
The instinct to put it all behind us was a good one. The problem was primarily a character flaw with Nixon, which is to say not a systemic national issue.
Ford and Carter both did their best to put the "Imperial Presidency" behind us. That didn't take hold, sadly, and the whole thing came back with Reagan. That seems to be a major, critical problem.
But there was much more to all of it than the character and the trappings. We did need a solid round of therapy, and a "truth and reconciliation" process would have done that. What about that Southern Strategy? Who are we as a people? How did this happen? None of those questions were answered.
I do not fault Ford for his instincts. But the whole system was far too eager to pretend it never happened. We, as a people, were and still are unwilling to confront the demons which made Nixon possible.
Now they made Trump. Something has to happen, I agree.
2017-05-12T13:12:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Not so far. 2017-05-10T13:54:47+00:00 Erik Hare
The word you are looking for is "defenestrated". :-) I've always wanted to use that word.
2017-05-10T13:54:39+00:00 Erik Hare
I think intelligence develops with cats, just as it does with humans. Tony always seemed smart, but with the years he has become genuinely wise at times. 2017-05-09T16:15:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-05-09T16:15:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. 2017-05-05T13:36:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Obamacare was indeed half-assed at best. There is no doubt in my mind that Republicans could come up with a better system in one way or the other. But they aren't even trying. That's what bugs me.
I'll go out on a limb here and say that we will NOT have a fix for this until everyone is engaged, Democrat and Republican alike. This doesn't get us anywhere.
2017-05-05T13:36:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Though I am a Democrat, I had a lot of criticism of Obamacare. It was a compromise from the start and it never really got to the heart of the problem. It wasn't innovative at all.
Having said that, this is worse. There is nothing about reality in this bill, it's just an attempt to push garbage through.
2017-05-05T13:34:27+00:00 Erik Hare
We didn't even get the CBO estimates before they passed it on - that is simply unheard of with a major piece of legislation. That is worth dwelling on for a moment.
It is about nothing more than not being embarrassed by their own inability . As a result, they embarrassed themselves further.
2017-05-05T13:32:41+00:00 Erik Hare
The only other way to look at it is that they are deliberately trying to screw people. I'm going to say that they don't think about people long enough to consider this. 2017-05-05T13:30:48+00:00 Erik Hare
You always have it, thanks!
2017-05-05T13:30:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. The Swiss Franc has been over-valued for a solid 20 years now, predating the launch of the Euro. Currencies can become "stuck" and often do. 2017-05-03T13:48:12+00:00 Erik Hare
I have long believed this, too. The Bush administration clearly wanted to defend the status of the Dollar, but I honestly think that a "soft landing" has to be prepared for us to get out of that. It has a cost. 2017-05-03T13:47:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-05-01T20:55:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-05-01T20:55:27+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't want to dwell on that, but yes. Even at its worst, what we have going is better than a lot of places. We have room to start making improvement. 2017-04-28T19:28:52+00:00 Erik Hare
Bingo! It's one way or the other! 2017-04-28T19:28:07+00:00 Erik Hare
I do think that the US in general has turned to very simplistic answers - which do not compel us to step outside of our houses and cars and actually talk to each other. We see this everywhere. 2017-04-24T13:33:33+00:00 Erik Hare
I apologize for offending you and making an assumption that you were like many of the atheists I know.
My own inability aside, I hope you can see that I actually agree with you to a large extent and am equally horrified by what religion has been used for. I've written on that topic many times before, in fact. I do think you have an important message to get out into the world, but speaking/writing is one thing and listening/reading another.
I can see that I did a bad job of crafting a message that can cut through the noise myself, but that is indeed my goal. I believe that there has to be a place for faith in a world based largely on reason - but our attitudes towards faith are definitely going to have to change considerably before that can come to pass. Still, I think it's not only desirable it's something that the vast majority of the "faithful" would like to see as well.
2017-04-21T19:19:05+00:00 Erik Hare
"Then you must see the KKK as good Christians who simply mass murdered the black slaves. "
Do you honestly believe this is my position? if so, how do you support this conclusion based on my words? If not, why did you say it?
I see nothing productive in your words, which makes me wonder why you write them. I honestly do not understand why someone would say what you do because it certainly does not advance your position by winning over people to your side nor does it make friends across different opinions. So why do you write the things which you do?
2017-04-21T18:34:38+00:00 Erik Hare
In this world I do think anything is possible. 2017-04-21T17:30:10+00:00 Erik Hare
I know, it's crazy. But it's what should happen - assuming a more peaceful method can't be found. 2017-04-21T17:29:56+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, the last second launch would be the one downside. But they don't seem ready or able to do that. They may if we wait much longer.
To me, cooperation between the US and China is essential for a lot of things. This is a good place to start. If it can be done more peacefully than by all means let's do it. But we shouldn't let this fester when we both know it is horrible and we both want it to change.
2017-04-21T13:22:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Sorry, but I think this is just a refelction of this problem. I can see why you feel this way, given what people use religion for. But only a small minority actually see it this way and they have polluted things terribly.
If all you knew of faith was a way that people felt connected and lived in peace you would probably still reject it, but not really care that much. And the vast majority of Christians in this nation do see their faith in those terms.
Somehow, the violent minority dominates. That is terrible.
2017-04-21T13:20:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Go ahead and rant, I can tell you still care. :-) Seriously, you mentioned "Dogma" and I concur that in a way that is a beautiful movie and a statement of faith. But it had to be expressed so cynically - that's the problem. 2017-04-19T16:18:39+00:00 Erik Hare
It's amazing how much we demand voices shout before they can be heard. To me, that is the entire problem. 2017-04-19T16:17:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-04-19T16:16:24+00:00 Erik Hare
You are anticipating what I was thinking about next, which is an examination of Christian thought as the majority of Christians from mainstream faiths understand it.
Yes, Grace - universal love - is not just for Lutherans anymore.
While I think it's obvious that politics is about interaction between people, current politics isn't exactly there yet. It's personal and defensive. It's not in a place where love can really be the guiding force.
I wanted to start with a personal vision that has clarity and sense. I'm trying to define a space where interaction, vis a vis politics, has space for genuine grace.
But yes, that's what has to come next. It should be obvious, I hope.
A very conservative friend of mine recently acknowledged the concept of "privilege" and said that the goal is not to eliminate it but to extend it to everyone. That was without even directly accepting my definition of privilege, which is the benefit of the doubt. This all works for me. Let's start with the assumption that everyone else is at least decent and worthy of some sense of love, some reach of grace. It may take work sometimes, but it's happy work that is good for the soul and often pays off bigtime.
And yes, let's encourage each other to be the best we can be and full of that grace which is all around us. It's hard to always be the best we can be, but with a little support it's easier.
Not a crazy vision at all!
2017-04-17T15:50:52+00:00 Erik Hare
I would think that everyone could reject a politics based on unhappiness right away. I want to start there. 2017-04-17T15:43:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. Most people see themselve sin the middle and practical, yes. This piece will certainly bother a lot of my more progressive friends in that it is very disconnected and middle class. It's written to people who really just want to get along and don't have a strong interest in politics, as we know it.
I'm focusing on connecting with the disconnected right now. That's what this is all about. I don't see any reason to radicalize them to get them involved in a movement. Most of them have good instincts, but just don't know what to do about it. The flurry of news confuses people and causes them to disengage.
I'm trying to provide an antidote to that. And starting with, "Let's all just be happy" seems like a good place to begin.
2017-04-17T15:43:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-04-14T19:47:50+00:00 Erik Hare
I think you are right, and there are indeed Republicans who are objectively good people no matter how you look at it. We just disagree on details, is all.
The good people, the sane people, the thinking people need to unite. We have to say, "Enough!" and start working things out to the best of our ability. That will take leadership, and that is indeed the hard part. But it has to happen - or we will decline into a third-rate nation very quickly.
2017-04-14T19:47:38+00:00 Erik Hare
If you believe in Star Trek: The Next Generation there is a way out. :-)
The key is moving from a time of scarcity to a time of abundance. We already live in a time when there is enough food to feed the projected 10B people this planet will max out at. There is enough energy out there if we only learn how to capture it. Marx's utopia is indeed at hand, probably in my lifetime.
Will it be utopia? Oh, Hell no! I grew up in Miami and I've seen what humans can do with paradise. But things like "money" are really a way of regulating scarce resources - and when scarcity disappears the dire need for money goes with it. Capital costs have been falling steady for 20 years for a good reason.
I do think this has a chance of sorting itself out, and that ST:TNG is largely correct in many ways. We'll find a way to muck it up, sure, but I do think that abundance, not scarcity, is coming at us quickly. That will indeed change everything.
Great comment, thank you!
2017-04-14T19:46:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, all around. It's been noted many times that the economy does better in Democratic administrations. Since correlation does not imply causality (see the story of the Star Spangled Banner as our national anthem) we have to be skeptical. I believe that in good times people are more receptive, expansive, and generous - and elect Democrats.
My goal is always "A strong half-step back" which I describe as "Far enough back to have some perspective, but close enough to keep my hands dirty." I think Mike Rowe is precisely correct in that hard work is always the goal when up close, as opposed to whining, but it is the step back which often eludes us all. Especially in hard times.
Leadership is always the key. People have to be coaxed back and given a strong vision. The entire developed world lacks clear vision right now, and it shows. Leadership is scared and unsure, but largely unwilling to admit it - because it's their job to lead into the future, yes?
2017-04-14T19:41:32+00:00 Erik Hare
All of that noise is only a distraction from what really matters. Until we get an actual vision and strategy in place the rest is just noise - and useful only to distract us from developing the appropriate strategy. 2017-04-12T17:05:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-04-12T17:04:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-04-10T17:55:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-04-10T17:55:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-04-10T17:55:10+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-04-10T17:54:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-04-10T17:54:43+00:00 Erik Hare
There is definitely growth and expansion. Not just economically, but social roles are expanding all the time as are civil rights. That's what some people want to push back against as the world becomes more integrated.

It's not all cyclical, so maybe I should change how I say this. Consider a simple addition between a straight line and a sine wave, which is to say y=x+sin(x):


I hope this turns out. it gives you great bursts of gain followed by slight retreats. I think this is how the economy and social progress both work.

I've been loathe to push this into that kind of equation, but it seems more accurate than I thought now that I've goofed with it. Does that work for you?
2017-04-07T15:13:25+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope it gives some context to our current problems. And yes, history is a long march of really stupid and crazy things happening. We all live with the consequences. 2017-04-05T17:37:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Over on facebook some of my friends are contemplating how the world would be different. Left and right they all agree - it was a mistake. But we can't undo it. 2017-04-05T17:36:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-04-05T17:35:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. It's one Hell of a way to end our imperialistic ambitions, isn't it? 2017-04-05T17:35:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Seven years ago, right at the bottom. Well, the economic bottom - the socio-political bottom we are still fathoming. 2017-04-03T18:41:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Isn't it amazing? This was more or less at the low point of the economy, and this is what we were talking about. Me? I had to resort to Pushkin. :-) 2017-04-03T14:20:15+00:00 Erik Hare
“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
– Kenneth Boulding
2017-03-31T17:35:15+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a genuinely positive spin on this, which is to look at how a world based on abundance, not shortage, would operate. Star Trek operated in that world, so it's not too terribly hard to imagine. 2017-03-31T17:33:02+00:00 Erik Hare
It is not. And that is sad - seven years on. 2017-03-31T17:32:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. Equity is the real issue. Of course, that is a good source of growth, at least in the short term. But it won't be satisfied until we put growth aside. 2017-03-31T17:31:32+00:00 Erik Hare
We will change. We have to. And, in fact, I think we are - which is why we have such real pain in certain areas of the economy. 2017-03-31T17:30:45+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it's all rather obvious. But in 2010 our policies were generally based on continuous growth. They still are, but less so. 2017-03-31T17:29:51+00:00 Erik Hare
I used to have less to say! ;-) 2017-03-29T13:45:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. And it all is very reactionary. The true middle ground, if you ask me, is that a new world logically requires new institutions and a world coming closer together requires a lot of new, often more intrusive, relationships. It's up to all of us to figure out what we want. I followed up with a 10 year old piece decrying the apparent denial that we do indeed need to work things out together. That is a common response all around. 2017-03-29T13:45:18+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! Yes, you do indeed have the right kind of questions - they make far more sense than anything dealing with "immigration" as a problem, for example.
Putin? I don't think he is really in charge. I think he is the enforcer, not the Don. If it ever became necessary to take him out, they would.
2017-03-27T19:36:32+00:00 Erik Hare
No, and No. :-) Seriously, part of the problem is that the disenfranchised have no idea how much they benefit from "The System" (really many systems) and believe that they can go it alone. 2017-03-27T14:13:29+00:00 Erik Hare
That is what I am getting at. What is the common feature of all these groups? Why are they not more suspicious of Putin? The one thing everyone around the world has in common is an apparent belief that chaos is better than the current corrupt/thieving/despotic order. 2017-03-27T14:12:34+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree completely. How we get there is another issue, however. 2017-03-27T01:00:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Each composer has their moods and their philosophies. Noe is as empowering as Bach's, if you ask me. I do consider it a faith. 2017-03-20T14:42:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. It does take us pretty much to today, nine years later. 2017-03-17T14:12:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. I always say that America is bigger than any of us can understand. :-) 2017-03-15T13:43:02+00:00 Erik Hare
It will be sad, but predictable. 2017-03-10T17:18:16+00:00 Erik Hare
The seasonal adjustment for ADP is not known, but it is probably the same as the BLS. Here is a graph of their adjustment. It's 1,600 thousand in February, meaning a blip of 100 thousand is 1/16th of the seasonal affect. Yes, I think that's all there is.

2017-03-10T17:18:02+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't think so. I think that raising will improve the sustainability - once we get through to the other side. 2017-03-06T18:37:13+00:00 Erik Hare
The main reason rates have to rise is to get us out of that spiral. It will be good in the long run, for sure. 2017-03-06T18:36:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Caffeinated. Mountain Dew. 2017-03-03T20:34:27+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree, snacks would make this all better. 2017-03-03T20:33:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Stocks have been on a tear for nearly a year. With interest rates rising we can expect a correction, yes. 2017-03-02T02:42:06+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it almost certainly was. 2017-03-02T02:41:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Not mine either. 2017-03-02T02:41:10+00:00 Erik Hare
I think the disagreements between Congress and him will become much larger with time. 2017-03-01T18:41:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Which, in this case, is fine by me. 2017-03-01T18:41:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen. And we are destroying one Hell of a lot. 2017-03-01T18:40:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. I don't think our nonsense is actually welcome anywhere. 2017-02-28T17:52:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, that is a ridiculous proposal all around, without a doubt. 2017-02-28T17:52:03+00:00 Erik Hare
That is my concern all around. ISIS is a symptom of a much larger problem - as is fundamentalism generally. 2017-02-28T17:51:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. The reason I want to be precise about this is that I fear that our "allies" in the region are capable of creating an awful lot of mayhem on their own and that we have trained them to do so. Even if we started being more constructive and/or largely withdrew from the region I think our legacy is one of constant turmoil. 2017-02-28T17:50:50+00:00 Erik Hare
The only solution is peace, yes. How much was the US involved? I don't mean to argue too much here, but there is a chance we weren't that involved - because we didn't have to be. Saudi Arabia and the gulf states did all the arming here, and I'm not sure we were involved in any way other than to let it happen. They do have the resources to do that. But if we were involved in the early arming we are indeed responsible and that was indeed the original sin that started all of this, yes. 2017-02-27T19:23:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, and yes, it's just not our thing outside of being Global Policeman. 2017-02-27T19:22:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. Thanks! 2017-02-23T23:29:08+00:00 Erik Hare
It would be nice. As someone said, we'd be tweeting about movies and sports now. 2017-02-23T23:28:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. I think it is indeed that simple. 2017-02-21T20:04:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. And hopefully they inspire the telling of another story and the process continues! 2017-02-20T18:05:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly - he isn't good enough to be pathological. There is something seriously wrong here and I don't know exactly what. I don't see that it matters. We can't keep treating this like a normal situation - it is extraordinary in every way it can be. 2017-02-20T18:04:52+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! It has been fun. Quite a lot of words. :-) 2017-02-20T18:03:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Sometimes it really helps to get yourself organized. It's difficult to talk about big ideas entirely off the cuff - you need to have it down well. 2017-02-20T18:03:20+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a lot of diversion here. I really don't care about anyone not in power, so that is rather irrelevant. We have an immediate crisis which is what I'd like to deal with, please. 2017-02-17T19:34:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2017-02-17T19:33:58+00:00 Erik Hare
I have no idea at this time, but I think things will reconcile. They have to. 2017-02-17T19:33:49+00:00 Erik Hare
I am certain of it. The problem is how they get messed up by the circus. 2017-02-15T15:55:16+00:00 Erik Hare
We do, indeed. 2017-02-15T15:54:55+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. We have to be in it for the long haul! 2017-02-15T15:51:01+00:00 Erik Hare
It does eventually. But while it is strengthening all of the goods we purchase become cheaper in dollar terms 2017-02-15T04:59:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, there is always more room. I think we have to make that point more and more - alongside the demonstration that there is a net benefit to everyone for immigration. 2017-02-10T19:24:45+00:00 Erik Hare
This generally happens, but take a look at a picture of any city in the 1920s. You will see signs posted in German, Polish ... any number of languages. Most are in English, yes, but there are always some which are not. And that's fine. 2017-02-10T19:23:55+00:00 Erik Hare
Oh, yes. I've been on this for a while. It just gets a little more true every year. :-) 2017-02-09T21:12:38+00:00 Erik Hare
They have their own reasons, which we do need to understand to get past where we are now and move to a more understanding - and productive - place. 2017-02-09T21:12:16+00:00 Erik Hare
More or less. It's a long standing position of Barataria that a depression started around 2000, which I call the "Managed Depression". Roughly the fifth such event in US history. 2017-02-08T20:09:29+00:00 Erik Hare
:-) 2017-02-08T20:08:21+00:00 Erik Hare
No, I do not have any way to do that. A separate survey is called for though - it would be nice. We could put a value on it. 2017-02-08T20:08:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! Great post! 2017-02-03T18:24:29+00:00 Erik Hare
It is, indeed. I still say that in a representative democracy you get the government you deserve. But the response has been good and we have to take heart in that. 2017-02-03T18:24:04+00:00 Erik Hare
It is critical. Keep the faith! 2017-02-03T18:23:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, but look around at how people are standing up with genuine kindness and humility. We are better, and we're showing it. 2017-02-01T19:57:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely! 2017-02-01T19:56:33+00:00 Erik Hare
Excellent! 2017-02-01T19:56:23+00:00 Erik Hare
If he lifts the sanctions with an Executive Order, we'll know. I think he knew what was going on the whole time. 2017-02-01T14:31:18+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, they are rolling. It's not good at all. 2017-02-01T14:30:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, but let's be the ones to finish it. :-)
Marching is good to the extent it gets us organized, but the real work is in the phone calls to Congress.
2017-02-01T14:30:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. We all need to. 2017-02-01T14:29:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Canada is now much bigger than the US - and I am not talking land area. Bless you all. 2017-01-30T19:12:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-01-30T19:11:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Money is the one way to buy your way out of their control. It's a big protection racket, and our nation is a big mafia state - just like Russia. 2017-01-30T19:11:33+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly - the entire purpose is to instill fear so that it can feed on itself. We must resist fear more than anything else. 2017-01-30T19:10:55+00:00 Erik Hare
Very much so. And I am sure we will see more of this. 2017-01-30T19:10:21+00:00 Erik Hare
And so did our ancient alliance, thankfully. 2017-01-30T19:10:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, we never know what we'll wake up to. 2017-01-30T19:09:43+00:00 Erik Hare
That is my point - the most subversive thing ever on TV, if you ask me. 2017-01-30T19:09:19+00:00 Erik Hare
What a lovely tribute! 2017-01-30T19:08:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. A truly great person. 2017-01-30T19:08:44+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2017-01-26T22:07:56+00:00 Erik Hare
There are probably more jobs in Auto Parts than there are in the actual assembly. And yes, I have no problem with Mexico having its share of jobs. The stability of Mexico is always going to be in our best interest. I don't care what you put at the border there will always be a net flow of people or Goods or something else across it regardless of what stupid laws you pass 2017-01-26T01:32:55+00:00 Erik Hare
I am in favor of tariff protection against nations which are not at the same level we are, and I do think that every nation has to have its own sources of food, water, and energy (the necessities). Beyond that, however, I do favor free trade all around and believe that all developed nations must form a community and get along. 2017-01-25T16:19:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Many times that is true. However, information is always the key to a well functioning marketplace, and there is without question a role for government in telling people what is going on. 2017-01-25T16:16:03+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that is true as well. I'm not sure it ever really worked in the first place, however. 2017-01-25T16:15:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. And it is indeed not clear at all what policy can do about this. My hunch is that we have to focus on the social need for work, which is to say something like "make work" in the end. Subsidizing jobs is a bit much, but reducing overhead and making a point of taxing profit, not labor, would be a start.

Still, it's all what Vonnegut wrote about in Player Piano some 60 years ago. https://erikhare.com/2014/08/27/player-piano/
2017-01-25T14:56:08+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point. Inflation does not exist generally, which has led to a lot of interesting behavior. Whatever we do here will be as automated as it can be - even the coke dispenser at Burger King is automated and self-service now, saving a worker here and there. 2017-01-25T14:49:57+00:00 Erik Hare
I think we can have more manufacturing, yes, but we can't do it chasing these things. It's about the strength of the US Dollar and the cost of workers - which I would say is driven at least as much by overhead as wages. 2017-01-25T14:48:02+00:00 Erik Hare
I think they are more interested in Guam. VERY interested. 2017-01-25T14:47:02+00:00 Erik Hare
You are correct that a big gathering is a great organizing tool. It is a start, and this clearly energized people. It left them with the feeling that they are not alone, and there is both strength and comfort in numbers.

Again, this is a time for tactics. It's not a truly progressive situation by any stretch, but it's what has to happen.
2017-01-25T14:46:42+00:00 Erik Hare
I think it has to be regular, too. But let's not forget what Saul Alinsky* said, "A tactic which drags on becomes a drag."

* Use of the name Saul Alinsky can legitimately be considered trolling on my part. Sue me.
2017-01-23T18:15:29+00:00 Erik Hare
If that is all it accomplishes, we have accomplished a lot. We can't move forward without Hope first.

I still say that we have to have clear goals and a path to reach them, but there is no doubt that energizing people is the first thing to do.
2017-01-23T18:14:32+00:00 Erik Hare
I certainly hope so. But it is still not a strategy with a defined goal. If it gets us there, it is good. 2017-01-23T18:04:41+00:00 Erik Hare
We are indeed the problem. A week ago, on MLK Day, I found this. I could never say it as well as he did in his Sermon to the Detroit Baptist Church on 28 Feb, 1954

"The trouble isn’t so much that we don’t know enough, but it’s as if we aren’t good enough. The trouble isn’t so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind. The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live, have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul.
We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we’ve made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we’ve failed to make of it a brotherhood. And the great danger facing us today is not so much the atomic bomb that was created by physical science. Not so much that atomic bomb that you can put in an aeroplane and drop on the heads of hundreds and thousands of people-as dangerous as that is.
But the real danger confronting civilization today is that atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of men, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness. That’s the atomic bomb that we’ve got to fear today. Problem is with the men. Within the heart and the souls of men. That is the real basis of our problem."
2017-01-23T18:04:03+00:00 Erik Hare
I understand. It's hard to just keep going sometimes 2017-01-20T22:23:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Mostly nonsense. Sigh. 2017-01-20T20:01:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Seek the wisdom ... like Bruce 2017-01-20T19:59:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen 2017-01-20T19:58:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much, yes. 2017-01-18T18:14:58+00:00 Erik Hare
To some extent, I did. This is worse than I would have ever dreamed. 2017-01-18T18:14:49+00:00 Erik Hare
We can always hope! 2017-01-18T18:14:33+00:00 Erik Hare
"There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what is right with America." - Bill Clinton 2017-01-18T18:14:21+00:00 Erik Hare
No, a complete incompetent and useful idiot to many crooks. 2017-01-18T04:22:12+00:00 Erik Hare
I am expecting it dead-on cross between Andrew Jackson and Warren G Harding. 2017-01-18T03:27:08+00:00 Erik Hare
OK. That would be great if it comes into being. Sounds like primarily a computer control issue, meaning we have everything in place to implement it. 2017-01-17T22:28:12+00:00 Erik Hare
So far, indeed. 2017-01-17T22:27:28+00:00 Erik Hare
I am not a fan of CNG because of the amount of energy necessary to compress and ship it. Propane, liquifying under pressure, interest me more. BUt in general the move to a natural gas economy is interesting give the number or biofuel and other renewable sources for it which can come online in their own time. I wrote about this some time ago. So I'm willing to keep an eye on it, for sure. 2017-01-17T22:27:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, people are definitely part of the machine there. 2017-01-17T22:24:40+00:00 Erik Hare
A very good question! Sort of a human machine hybrid. You never really know, eh? 2017-01-16T19:45:25+00:00 Erik Hare
I do believe that these cars are at least a useful interim technology. The ability to use biodiesel is a big benefit to me. BUT - I completely agree that the regulation we have now is a bit of a mystery and I do want to know a lot more myself. I can tell you that there is really no fix for the NOx emissions - you either live with it or you ban it. 2017-01-16T19:44:52+00:00 Erik Hare
I can buy that I don't have the best info. And I can see why the NOx, which can't be fixed, might be a reason to ban diesels. In fact, I really don't know why either the EU or US have the standards they do.
What I can tell you is that in my nearly constant search for alternative technologies that might be interesting, as I don't think Lithium batteries are really the future, I always run into the standard for efficiency as being these diesels.
My search includes the previously mentioned turbine electric hybrid and even magneto hydrodynamic plasma generators - both of which are interesting and both of which create a lot of NOx as they run very hot. And both are not yet ready to challenge these high mileage diesels.
So I'm always ready to listen to arguments on how we balance the priorities for cleaner cars. This is one area that I really don't get, to be honest.
What's really wrong with the US? Gasoline is too cheap and roads are heavily subsidized. That's about it to me. But if we fix that consumers will want higher mileage cars right away, as they did when gasoline was over $4 a gallon two years ago. And they will demand these cars.
Then what?
2017-01-16T19:43:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Nope. Just smoke and mirrors. :-)
2017-01-13T21:05:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. But I think they are more rare than we might think. Most people don't seem to realize how rude they are. 2017-01-13T16:18:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-01-13T16:17:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! I appreciate your contributions to the world of sanity as well. 2017-01-13T16:15:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, that seems to be happening. But unlike Rome, we are still a Republic. 2017-01-12T14:22:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-01-12T14:22:14+00:00 Erik Hare
On that last point I think we can all agree. My concern is that worried about the screw up a great opportunity 2017-01-09T23:37:58+00:00 Erik Hare
I am not against wholesale reform of corporate taxes. Generally, the lost revenue is made up with a VAT, which is very regressive - and I would be OK with even that if we had some mechanisms for making it less regressive. I do feel that a stock transaction tax would be even better to make up lost revenue. BUT - the main point remains that this is a delicate thing that should not be rushed through given how many ways corporate tax is screwed up and the resulting implications of these many ways being "fixed".
2017-01-09T15:33:10+00:00 Erik Hare
Again, this isn't about Russia, scary as they are. And I'm not even sure it's for his buddies. This is a core Republican agenda item that is going to be pushed through now that they can.
Thinking it through a bit, the moment the Fed starts really raising rates is the moment their independence is threatened. That will be another distraction - one that all thinking people need to be ready for. Sigh.
2017-01-09T15:27:15+00:00 Erik Hare
OK, I'll stop being pissy. Sorry about that.
My point is that while everyone frets about Russia this and that there is something more important at stake - an ideology which will be crammed through despite having obvious pitfalls in this current environment. And to put that on top of saying exactly the wrong things and giving the wrong impressions all over, ie that a trade war is about to break out, is just irresponsible. It's almost exactly the wrong thing to do in this delicate situation.
That's what bothers me. And this is all getting lost in the noise about Russia etc. Trump is getting a relatively free hand in economic areas because he has a handy distraction.
2017-01-09T15:21:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Is that honestly all you got from this?
Can you actually read English?

Please go away if you are that wedded to the main attraction of the circus.
2017-01-09T01:24:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-01-09T01:14:29+00:00 Erik Hare
None of this has anything to do with what I said here. Not one bit. 2017-01-09T01:14:18+00:00 Erik Hare
No, it isn't really a game, but that's what they will play. And it will kill people,. especially destroying the ACA.
None of this is good, not at all. But it's what we are facing.
2017-01-06T18:58:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Yeah. This isn't going to be fun. 2017-01-06T18:56:44+00:00 Erik Hare
Not fun, eh? 2017-01-06T18:56:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly! 2017-01-04T18:45:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Change your mind instead? :-) The economy is nothing more than a series of values made into a system. Changing the values changes the system more than anything else. 2017-01-04T18:45:33+00:00 Erik Hare
"All money is a matter of belief." - Adam Smith.
"Money" as a concept is very different from "wealth". It doesn't really matter what we use to measure wealth, it matters how flows. And while the debt can be crippling, keep in mind that $2.8B of it, about 14%, is owned by the Federal Reserve. That is entirely fictional, in a sense.
Government does not always serve the people, no, and that is a serious problem. But it's hardly a new problem if you ask me.
2017-01-04T18:44:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Pope Francis is indeed tied to the Catholic view, so he can't go as gnostic as I do. That's fine with me because I don't see that point as being central.
There is no doubt that Francis sees Jesus first and foremost as an example. His foot washing is the clearest demonstration of this. So there is no significant conflict here.
Nor do I think there is a great conflict with other "People of the book", Jews and Moslems. While they do not have Jesus as a guide (Moslems only see him as an early prophet, so he is accessible at least) the message is substantially the same in many ways. The main difference is enough ritual to define every moment of the day, which I admit I find troubling. But even that I feel can be worked out with honest, open conversation. I'd like to have that.
2017-01-02T16:39:04+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't want this to be a competition, but I see what you mean. And that is my point, in a sense. I have just enough Salvation Army in me to really believe that "You shall know the just by their deeds." I stand by that - regardless of how someone describes their faith or lack thereof. 2017-01-02T16:35:46+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2017-01-02T16:34:38+00:00 Erik Hare
You are most welcome, and thank you for reading! 2017-01-02T16:34:26+00:00 Erik Hare
I will do my best, and I hope you can help with it, too! 2017-01-02T16:34:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you for taking this to the next level! This piece was written for evangelizing, essentially - to the extent I am comfortable at all with doing that. I didn't want to get too philosophical or quote too many other people. The purpose was to speak from my heart and tell the world how I think.
But it needs the underpinnings you provide - the background, the realization that others have looked at this issue in similar ways. Yes, I see all of this as part of a general "higher calling" which is the chakra above - the one I haven't talked about too much.
The point is that we should at least have as an ideal a world where everyone is wise and kind and connected. We may not all achieve that, but it is worth trying. Standards are important, especially in cultural frames.
Thank you again. This stands on its own.
2017-01-02T16:33:46+00:00 Erik Hare
They will try, I fear. 2016-12-30T18:45:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Nothing surprising at all. But keep in mind that a new generation of economists and other experts is essential to bring the new thinking, so it does take a while to really sink in.
Not only a new generation but a new gender and country of origin in many cases. This is what genuine "outsiders" look like.
2016-12-30T18:44:45+00:00 Erik Hare
Happy New Year! 2016-12-30T01:05:33+00:00 Erik Hare
This is as pessimistic as I get. You are right in that this is just the culmination of decades of work by those who want to enslave one way or the other.

The problem is a simple one. Barataria is about my role as Sancho Panza, trying to keep the world out of trouble until it regains its sanity. The world has believed its own bullshit for far too long and honestly believes the windmills are dragons. I am not doing my job. The world is in more peril than it was when I started.

We do need to hang in there. It will be hard.
2016-12-29T22:46:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! It is time for a younger person to take the project over. I hope for recent immigrants, actually - people who can absorb the great Americana and be a part of it. That would be so very beautiful. 2016-12-29T22:43:56+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a lot here to comment on. I want to start with this:

"I can believe its more to do with a wilful lack of understanding of cultural differences and, a lack of appreciation for the shared cultural values and interests. "

I accept this. The noise of a bizzy world has become deafening as it closes in around us. Far too many people have crawled into a fetal position with their hands over their ears to drown it all out. That's your crap news, fake news, fluffy news, and other plain gossip that simply drowns out anything useful at all.

Very few of us are in any position to make sense of what is happening. There's no reason to think that we ever will be able to intellectually, either. Like previous steps in modernity, such as the Industrial Revolution, there has to be a period of normalization where we all gradually accept it. Coping mechanisms come from the guts and the heart, not the head.

Politics is indeed about how power is organized. Our systems in the developed free world are based on the premise that most of it has to be distributed. The responsibility that comes with that is overwhelming at times. A retreat into authoritarianism is actually rather rational in a way - just tell us what to do and keep us safe, please. It's far too confusing to do anything else.

You raise many, many good points. All in all I think the main effect is simply overwhelming.
2016-12-29T22:42:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-12-29T22:36:28+00:00 Erik Hare
I gladly indict everyone. There is plenty of blame to go around. 2016-12-29T22:36:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Yet we retain the mechanisms to do something about it - as soon as we stop believing the bullshit. As soon as we stop believing our own bullshit.

I do not disagree with you. But the operative word in what you said is near the top - "We". That's what is in extra large fancy print at the top of the Constitution itself, after all. Until we start thinking like that we are indeed doomed, IMHO.
2016-12-29T22:35:54+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm OK. This needs to happen. This is too much house for me and it's too expensive. 2016-12-27T17:03:26+00:00 Erik Hare
A little of both. It's too big for me to maintain. 2016-12-27T17:03:04+00:00 Erik Hare
I am planning to not leave the West End. I really don't have a plan yet, though. 2016-12-27T17:02:47+00:00 Erik Hare
For $650k you could! :-)
2016-12-27T17:02:27+00:00 Erik Hare
I guess many people do these days. Christmas comes in turns for many of us.
Merry Christmas to you, Anna! Thank you very much for your kind words of support all year. It's been my pleasure all around to have you as a reader and active contributor. You really do make me a better thinker, writer, and person.
2016-12-23T20:18:10+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-12-23T20:16:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! To you as well! 2016-12-21T14:50:12+00:00 Erik Hare
We will get through this. 2016-12-21T14:50:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Precisely. Blocking all change is an inherently "conservative" position. It is not clear to me at all that we can or should do this. It is clearly effective, and we also clearly have a system designed to block nearly all change that is not backed by a broad consensus. Therefore, we have an inherently conservative (small "c") form of government (which is also not reactionary).
Having said that, this is going to have a broad appeal among many Americans who are wary of change but still favor a broad array of basic rights including women's rights, choice, marriage equity, et cetera.
I am not ready to say, "We must do all this, and do it now!" I will say that this component should probably be present.
2016-12-19T21:16:44+00:00 Erik Hare
We do indeed. It has to be the first goal.
2016-12-19T20:42:51+00:00 Erik Hare
A distinct possibility, yes. 2016-12-19T20:42:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Tip O'Neill, Speaker of the House. But he credited his Dad with the orginal statement. 2016-12-19T20:42:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! The methods were shown to work, for sure. 2016-12-19T20:41:37+00:00 Erik Hare
I have a link at the top. 2016-12-19T20:41:13+00:00 Erik Hare
No, we won't get anything done for sure, and we can only hope to minimize the damage. There is still nothing actually good to look forward to, no. 2016-12-16T14:52:58+00:00 Erik Hare
You may be right, I may be crazy, But it just may be a lunatic you're looking for. - William Martin Joel 2016-12-16T14:29:49+00:00 Erik Hare
It's OK, I can handle it. But thank you! 2016-12-16T14:27:16+00:00 Erik Hare
There is no doubt that some of this crazy has infiltrated our "leadership" for decades. Some of it we can see and already know how to combat. The intensity is going to go way up, however. And let's not forget how much we have been losing this War on Reality. 2016-12-16T14:26:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Avoidance isn't going to work, no. But I think we can pick our battles and ignore the crazy diversionary ones carefully. That's what I would advise.
How effective will it be? We will have to see. We're going to be picking up new skills here.
2016-12-16T14:25:57+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't mean to disagree with you too vehemently, but just about anyone other than Trump represents a reduced chance of WWIII starting. I consider that to be a good thing.
Yes, we have sunk that low.
2016-12-14T22:26:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, all of this is ridiculous. 2016-12-14T20:13:56+00:00 Erik Hare
It's all about the latter. If that is what goes down, I support it. 2016-12-14T17:02:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-12-14T15:07:40+00:00 Erik Hare
None of this will please anyone no matter how it shakes out at this point. 2016-12-14T15:07:28+00:00 Erik Hare
A few are standing up to him - McCain, Graham are the leaders. The rest may have to choose who they follow. 2016-12-14T15:06:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, I hear you. I have kids who are 16 and 20 and I keep thinking about the world I've passed on to them. I owe them more than this. 2016-12-13T18:08:15+00:00 Erik Hare
It's so sad. This is indeed fascism. 2016-12-13T18:07:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. I have met a few of them. There are always a few. They can't be the standard for everything, however. 2016-12-13T16:08:29+00:00 Erik Hare
It's worth a try. I wonder if people can imagine what would happen if things really did break down completely? 2016-12-13T16:07:57+00:00 Erik Hare
2016-12-13T16:07:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it has. And if we have to start from the ground up rebuilding first faith in civic life and then civics itself, we have to. I'm not sure what I can add at this point but it's clear to me that we have to start over, to re-invent the wheel. Seems really stupid, but fine - it's round folks, carry on. 2016-12-13T16:07:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, by all means. Thank you! 2016-12-12T04:02:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it's hardly news. But that's the point. We have a confirmation that what everyone has "known" for years is indeed true. 2016-12-08T23:28:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. Under competent leadership I see nothing but upside. There are tremendous resources available to correct any and all problems, and even a light hand on the tiller is probably going to produce good times at this point. But Trump is more likely to do damage than any good.
That's the fear we have right now.
2016-12-05T15:39:56+00:00 Erik Hare
Good way to look at it. It seems as though the "free market" reset itself in about 8 years or so, a total of 17 from top to bottom. That is a very long time and a lot of suffering. 2016-12-05T15:38:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I understand that people are struggling, but what are we going to actually do about it?
We needed a "New Deal" about 8 years ago, but politics prevented it. You could argue, as I have, that Obama should have been more forceful about creating a massive program of desperately needed public works, et cetera, and I would be with you. But it wasn't going to happen in this political climate.
So we wound up with a slow climb out of the Depression instead of critical action. And we're almost there. And people's attitudes are indeed about to change.
Do I think that a free-market alone solution was the best? Absolutely not. But as long as this is what people vote for, it's what we'll have. And it's going ... well, it's going slowly but it will get there in a few more years.
2016-12-05T14:31:16+00:00 Erik Hare
That was the point! :-) Thank you! 2016-12-02T18:33:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-12-02T18:32:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-12-02T18:32:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, too! It's a completely different way of looking at the world. While it doesn't explain everything in the Chinese outlook on life, it's a key starting place. 2016-12-02T18:32:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. They range from incompetent to ideologues. Yuck. 2016-12-01T21:18:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, there are still some boundaries. I agree that Trump will cross a few lines on Republicans and be replaced as soon as they can. 2016-12-01T21:17:46+00:00 Erik Hare
This is very unlikely, I would say one in a million. But with the antics we have so far I would think some Electors will not be impressed. 2016-11-30T14:29:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. Anything is indeed possible. 2016-11-30T14:28:23+00:00 Erik Hare
All around. It's not good for anyone. 2016-11-30T14:28:07+00:00 Erik Hare
You're good, speak your mind. Always welcome.
My problem right now is a simple one - I can't think of anything enlightening to say. I think there is evidence of a lot of fraud and possibly hacking in several states. The rise of the White Power groups is absolutely chilling. My first thought is that we need to prepare for anything, up to and including forming left-wing militias.
Then again, I have a large number of personal problems right now, which I'll get into later.
So what should I say? I'm waiting for some clarity, to be honest. I don't know yet.
Meanwhile, say what you want. I appreciate it.
2016-11-23T16:58:53+00:00 Erik Hare
I have heard some projecting a big downturn as consumer confidence takes a hit. I am watching for this. Keep in mind that there is a solid month or two lag in any statistics. 2016-11-23T16:33:28+00:00 Erik Hare
I see your point. It is an annual feature, and I did not get around to it yet. This is probably the deadest day of the year for me, so I stuffed it here.
Actually, Friday is a little worse, but I want to say something more important as we enter the holiday season.
2016-11-23T16:32:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly! Basic values. Things we need to be reminded of every day. Kindness, respect, things like that. 2016-11-22T16:16:35+00:00 Erik Hare
I can't imagine we are anywhere near a resolution 2016-11-19T00:10:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-11-18T16:12:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. Indeed, Turkey fears the Kurds. Perhaps they should, in fact, given what they have done to them and how effective the Peshmerga has proven to be. I don't think the Kurds see themselves as Turkey's enemy, at least not right now. They are far too practical to pick a fight they don't need to. 2016-11-18T00:20:12+00:00 Erik Hare
I guess I would leave it at this - we can't say that Sanders would have beaten Trump because we didn't get to see what was in the Republican oppo file. We know it was a big file, however. 2016-11-18T00:18:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I'll start with where we disagree- Sanders. He may have the right message, but he was a flawed messenger. The Repubs would have slaughtered him with his past record as a socialist. I do not think that we can say he would have fared better.
On the rest, well, we agree. This could not be a referendum on Trump and trying to make it one was stupid. No one in a position of power seems to understand the basic disconnect with ordinary working class people. Where the Hell is Carville and "It's the Economy, Stupid" ???
2016-11-16T18:44:52+00:00 Erik Hare
This is very disturbing all around, especially since it's happened twice in five elections. 2016-11-16T14:39:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Apparently 2016-11-16T14:38:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Mine as well. :-) 2016-11-16T14:23:10+00:00 Erik Hare
Hello! :-) 2016-11-16T14:22:57+00:00 Erik Hare
This is shocking - a lack of a ground game will always kill us.
And the lack of organizing between elections is indeed a sign of death.
2016-11-16T14:22:37+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-11-15T14:09:44+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen. I agree to get dirty. We are all dirty already, might as well make work of it. 2016-11-14T20:33:56+00:00 Erik Hare
We just need to get the message out - Keep Black Friday to one day only. 2016-11-14T20:33:26+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree. If we learned one thing from the Nazis, it is this. 2016-11-11T15:55:18+00:00 Erik Hare
We always seem to. But some will struggle much more than others. 2016-11-11T15:55:01+00:00 Erik Hare
The world is changing rapidly, for a lot of reasons. Older people who woke up in a different world one day tend to be fearful and resentful. To the young, this is the only world they have ever known. And it is up to them to make it their world one day.
We need them to have more control over this world, IMHO. They have the perspective to navigate it and the decisions made today will guide where it goes. Some elder wisdom to guide them is good, of course, but it should be tempered with the knowledge that it's not really our world anymore.
2016-11-11T15:54:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Good list. To me, it's all about generational change now. That's what we need. 2016-11-11T00:54:28+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope so. It's all I've got. 2016-11-09T21:14:53+00:00 Erik Hare
That is what bothers me the most, yes. 2016-11-09T20:53:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen, brother. 2016-11-09T20:53:08+00:00 Erik Hare
For me, he has. I feel like I have nothing left. 2016-11-09T20:52:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I honestly have no idea. I used to think I did, but apparently I was wrong. 2016-11-09T15:09:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Apparently, Americans want to burn it all down. So we will watch it all burn. 2016-11-09T14:11:44+00:00 Erik Hare
It does, yes. This could be a big blowout. 2016-11-08T17:18:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. 2016-11-08T17:16:27+00:00 Erik Hare
It's almost time, we're at the last mile of a terrible marathon. There's a reason we're sick and tired. :-) 2016-11-07T16:45:02+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that prediction has already come true. :-) 2016-11-07T16:44:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! Hoping for the best all around. 2016-11-07T16:44:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Current prediction is that we'll all be fine. Hopefully I won't have to refine that as it gets closer. :-) 2016-11-07T16:43:36+00:00 Erik Hare
That's what we can all hope for! 2016-11-07T16:43:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2016-11-04T14:41:04+00:00 Erik Hare
A lot of people agree with you, I think. 2016-11-04T13:42:00+00:00 Erik Hare
It has its place. It just gets outside of that very quickly. 2016-11-04T13:41:44+00:00 Erik Hare
It's not good for anyone! 2016-11-04T13:26:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it's about doing their damned job at some point. That's what we want elected officials to do. 2016-11-03T13:33:41+00:00 Erik Hare
GDP would have been a bit different all the way through. That big swing down then up in 2008 would have been a lot smoother, for one. Today it would be higher.
My guess is that the inventory number should change with GDP overall. When it doesn't that might mean something, but it doesn't seem to predict but lag so it's not all that useful.
2016-11-02T16:37:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-11-02T13:15:16+00:00 Erik Hare
The Pound has taken an incredible beating, which would normally be good for a manufacturing nation. Britain is not. I don't see this going anywhere good as investment really dries up. The key to me is risk - the UK is full of risk right now, meaning investors will mainly look elsewhere unless there is a premium for them. It will keep hurting for years. 2016-11-02T13:15:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-11-02T13:13:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Me, neither. This is the first election that I just want over. 2016-10-31T14:36:51+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm talking about you and I, buddy. Leadership from the bottom! 2016-10-31T14:36:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I love it, too! 23 years ago I saw it in the theater on opening night. :-) 2016-10-28T17:27:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-10-28T17:26:38+00:00 Erik Hare
No, he isn't. Certainly not going after Paul Ryan. I am pleased to be wrong about that part, yes. 2016-10-26T14:21:33+00:00 Erik Hare
The name Trump will be synonymous with "Loser" when this is over. I think that part will go well enough. 2016-10-26T14:21:05+00:00 Erik Hare
If Clinton is essentially the incumbent the goal is to embarrass the administration. It may require some follow-up.
There is also the possibility of real damage to the infrastructure which winds up suppressing turnout, thus favoring Republicans, but I would put the odds of that happening at less than 1 in a million. Still, if the Russians think it's higher they might act.
I agree that while it's might suspicious against Putin it really doesn't look like anything that's going to work to any real degree. So this may be a measure of this desperation, which frankly I think is what we are seeing in all the other actions.
Keep in mind that at $50/bbl oil prices are so low that Russia is running out of money fast.
2016-10-24T18:56:56+00:00 Erik Hare
Very good find, thank you! 2016-10-24T18:50:42+00:00 Erik Hare
It's entirely possible that these cameras on the BotNet were far too easy to hack. No one changes the password on them, for one thing. We shouldn't jump to conclusions - but we also should not let our guard down as this attack is still underway. 2016-10-24T18:50:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Right? Biggest blow-out and a major yawner if you only look at the top, biggest change if it runs down the ballot. Excitement is where you find it, eh?
(No, I'm not talking about baseball ... but I could be, yes? :-) )
2016-10-24T18:32:25+00:00 Erik Hare
I have not read that - I will check it out, thanks!
This post is all about my usual routine, which is to be all about context. The reports I've seen so far have been really thin on context such as how the systems work, etc.
My big concern, however, is that the "Russian Context" is easily over-played without any evidence. As many of you know I am a major Putinophobe and will blame him for just about anything this side of inclement weather. So take it all with a grain of salt.
But someone did this, we know, and it does look like it is targeting the center of the US internet. The odds of it being a real strike on the nation are pretty high. Russians? Can't say yet. But who else is a suspect?
2016-10-24T18:31:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2016-10-24T18:28:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, I said nothing about State legislatures - which we need by 2020 to influence redistricting. I guess I am less interested in those now, but in the future they will be the biggest deal. 2016-10-24T18:27:42+00:00 Erik Hare
My pleasure! 2016-10-24T18:26:48+00:00 Erik Hare
I love the practical nature of your statement - "scared into working across party lines". Amen! We should never want one party to absolutely rule everything - even my party, much as I like us! Our system works best when everyone is engaged and working to make things better. If a good scare will do it, then let's scare 'em! 2016-10-24T18:26:24+00:00 Erik Hare
That is indeed the most likely scenario. But it is worth watching, if for no other reason than there is nothing else worth watching. :-) 2016-10-21T17:25:57+00:00 Erik Hare
It would be a whole new world, yes! 2016-10-21T16:29:55+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a lot to crow about, and I do think that the Democrats in general have done a lousy job of it. I find it all very reprehensible. Things are, overall, not bad. The glass is half full.
2016-10-19T19:26:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Eventually, it works. :-) This is exactly correct - we have a range where everything is in balance and it appears to be stable. But there were two years of turmoil as the market responded to the increase in production from the US and then Iran plus responded to decreased demand caused by the high prices.
The question is whether demand will increase at this level. It all happens very gradually, so we don't know yet.
2016-10-19T19:25:07+00:00 Erik Hare
That is a good plan, IMHO. 2016-10-18T20:16:13+00:00 Erik Hare
That is the kind of thing that I would emphasize - more about how to get along with other cultures than anything. 2016-10-18T20:15:52+00:00 Erik Hare
That's ma job! :-) 2016-10-14T21:15:06+00:00 Erik Hare
I am also counting on this. I am presuming that Ryan will still be speaker, but look at how he is defending his own principles and people first. He will also want to work to get things done, I believe. 2016-10-14T21:14:51+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! We have to work at it, nothing is automatic. But it can happen. 2016-10-14T21:13:51+00:00 Erik Hare
You are always welcome to reblog! Thank you! 2016-10-14T21:13:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2016-10-14T21:13:09+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point. It's not what we as a society learn as much as what each person learns. One less may be that politics really is awful. I hope isn't the lesson most people take from this. More people being turned off will only make things worse. 2016-10-14T21:12:47+00:00 Erik Hare
That is what I hope can happen. My guess is that in the silence immediately after the election there will be a time to change the subject to something more positive. 2016-10-14T21:11:46+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. But one that takes down everything. 2016-10-12T15:23:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. Notice that his main go-to insult is "weak". He's called Ryan that, among others. To Trump, Ryan "lacks the will" to paraphrase it into Hitler speech. He doesn't deserve the great gift of Trump. And so he must be punished.
We have seen this all before. Trump is just a thin shadow of Hitler in so many ways.
2016-10-12T13:40:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, indeed. The aftermath of this horrible election will tell us what lasting effects we have, however. 2016-10-11T20:54:55+00:00 Erik Hare
NBC was going to release the tape, or so they say, but the Washington Post got a leaked copy of it and beat them by a few hours.
Whether or not he knew he was being recorded is an issue. However, this was part of his role on The Apprentice, as he was hanging around with Billy Bush. So I think consent is hardly an issue here, and it has not been raised (I checked).
2016-10-10T23:26:10+00:00 Erik Hare
It is increasingly looking like that will indeed happen. I still wonder about the House. The generic congressional ballot has the Dems up +7, which may be enough to take it. We'll see. 2016-10-10T23:24:20+00:00 Erik Hare
He is indeed a pig. 2016-10-10T23:23:36+00:00 Erik Hare
I can't get much worse. My guess is that this is the low point. I expect younger people to start demanding better, for one. 2016-10-10T23:23:23+00:00 Erik Hare
You are most welcome. I do try to lead by example to the best of my ability. I was inspired, and so I feel a need to inspire in return. 2016-10-10T23:22:49+00:00 Erik Hare
You are most welcome. We have to keep saying it until it actually happens, like a daily affirmation. 2016-10-07T20:43:08+00:00 Erik Hare
I have no idea. Honestly, it seems like a bad idea every way you look at it. 2016-10-07T20:42:10+00:00 Erik Hare
I think the vast majority of people will agree with you. 2016-10-07T20:41:30+00:00 Erik Hare
It is. That is correct, yes? :-) 2016-10-06T23:04:37+00:00 Erik Hare
We are just turning the corner. There is a big hole to climb out of, and I think we can say we are just poking our heads out, like a gopher. Looking around, it doesn't seem that great. 2016-10-06T23:04:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Not good. The ADP report came in with a weak gain of 154k. That isn't a good sign. We will see. 2016-10-05T22:42:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree, but it won't matter. Remember Lloyd Bentsen beating up Dan Quayle in 1988? Didn't change a thing. 2016-10-05T22:41:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen. Far too many people have learned far too well 2016-10-04T23:04:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, we are. It's our world if we want to make it.
We are the dreamers of dreams. :-)
2016-10-03T22:40:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-10-03T22:39:34+00:00 Erik Hare
It is, indeed! Good catch! I decided to not emphasize that point. But yes, Africans beat Europeans on their own turf. :-)

I decided to de-emphasize race generally in this piece. That was a strange decision, but I want my readers to focus as broadly as possible on the problem. Race has a way of narrowing the focus. If I was talking to a group of people I would start with race and pan out harder.

But yes, the two problems with institutional racism are institutions and racism. They can be separated - and must be for us to tackle their different needs in their own way. Command of the field allows that separation, so command and maneuverability are the first key steps, IMHO.
2016-09-30T15:41:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! But this is about tactics, not strategy. :-) Seriously, the two meld together in a complex battlefield. The strategy is one of encapsulation, the tactics are flanking. That may be a bit too subtle a point to matter, though. 2016-09-30T15:38:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, that is the key. Someone has to be the ones who turn down the volume and give everyone time to think. That someone has to be the ones in charge, the ones with the badges and guns.
I will look that up, thanks!
2016-09-30T15:37:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2016-09-30T15:36:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen. :-) 2016-09-28T20:23:10+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. It will soon be time to look for initial projections for holiday shopping. Just don't break out the Christmas music yet, please. :-) 2016-09-28T16:52:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, here is a link: swo8.wordpress.com/2016/09/28/game-of-chess-by-l-martel-3/
A fraud is always revealed - usually to themselves first. :-)
2016-09-28T16:47:05+00:00 Erik Hare
If the debate was on how we fill up the glass more, I am sure we would have some interesting ideas from ALL sides. I would like that debate.
Is there something wrong now? Sure, a lot is wrong. A do-nothing Congress has not responded to the changes in how people work or how large corporations have become global, not national. There is a lot that should be done and a lot to go wrong if we don't respond. I'm with you on that.
2016-09-28T14:48:03+00:00 Erik Hare
It will all be over soon enough. :-) 2016-09-28T01:20:58+00:00 Erik Hare
I think she did, too! :-) 2016-09-28T01:20:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Definitely the way to go in this election. Yeesh. 2016-09-28T01:20:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point - are we getting serious about it or not? That is probably the right question. Quick anger favors Trump, seriousness favors Clinton. 2016-09-21T15:13:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Polls suggest that a slim majority favor Clinton on this. You would think it should be higher, but we'll take it. 2016-09-21T15:12:50+00:00 Erik Hare
That is true of a lot of our world today :-) 2016-09-19T23:33:44+00:00 Erik Hare
You don't want to be too cold, but yes. It's important to get to the point if you want someone to respond and take action. You have to tell them what you want in plain English. 2016-09-19T16:42:34+00:00 Erik Hare
It is still important, especially for business. There is no better way to manage messages. If anything, it is more important in the case described here - a replacement for the formal business letter. 2016-09-19T16:41:58+00:00 Erik Hare
The market for consumer services seems to be moving this way no matter what, so I think we'll see this recognized. People really hate banks! 2016-09-16T21:00:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Ego has to play a role, for sure. But decades of learning doesn't wring out of those at the top overnight. There has to be competition from smaller banks nipping at their heals before a "fast and limber" approach proves itself. 2016-09-16T15:47:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Things don't happen overnight. Wall Street is doing something about it -avoiding their stocks. That limits their ability to raise more capital and gives an advantage to more profitable banks.
The free market does work, but really only in the long run. In the short run major changes, such as this, take time to absorb.
2016-09-16T15:46:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Let's see how this plays out. He may get more pressure to do the same now that Clinton has released her report. 2016-09-14T21:39:47+00:00 Erik Hare
He was 69, which is to say a year older than Clinton and a year younger than Trump. Not really that old, actually. 2016-09-14T16:15:43+00:00 Erik Hare
I do think this is a legitimate issue, for sure, but I think it's been answered or will be answered once she is over pneumonia. And we will move on. 2016-09-14T16:14:52+00:00 Erik Hare
It is not. She is the presumptive President at this time and it is very reasonable to make sure she is up to it.
I do think she gets extra scrutiny as a woman, yes, but this issue is not one of those times. I hope we can move on from this once the question appears answered - which for me is about now.
2016-09-14T16:14:12+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't doubt that new restrictions would calm things down a little, which would be good. If we do come up with sensible, simple things which help us get some sense of "well ordered" to this strange "militia" we've created all the better. And weapons have indeed changed.
But do I think it's going to make a night and day kind of change by itself? No. There has to be more, there has to be a cultural part of this. And that will take time and a lot of honest, open discussion. So let's start now!
Thanks for your comments!
2016-09-14T16:12:46+00:00 Erik Hare
Checked out your piece, good stuff! Her health is a topic, but we should deal with it an move on, IMHO. This stuff always gets silly. 2016-09-14T16:09:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Just about, yes. 2016-09-12T19:40:40+00:00 Erik Hare
That seems to be true. But why? I have no idea. 2016-09-12T19:40:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Usually, yes 2016-09-12T19:39:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Yup. Professionalizing everything has ruined ... well, just about everything.
2016-09-12T19:39:21+00:00 Erik Hare
True enough. But the competition might change that. 2016-09-09T19:01:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Look to the UK. No one is elected to Parliament with a majority of the vote, and everyone just accepts that.
There is also Instant Runoff Voting, but I would favor a runoff election two weeks later if you really want to have a majority.
Lastly, I could see states changing their Senate to be elected state-wide by party slate - so that if Libertarians get 9% of the vote they get 9% of the seats.
2016-09-09T18:59:55+00:00 Erik Hare
It has always been that way, yes. But a group more along the lines of Gary Johnson isn't going to be like that. And certainly if they are fully engaged in conversation they won't put up with that crap.
To me there is only one solution to the "corruption" in Washington - and I put it in quotes because you can and should take it broadly enough to mean otherwise legitimate organizing like ALEC and other groups which wind up with way too much influence.
To me, that solution has to be engagement and conversation. An engaged population won't put up with anyone having too much influence for any reason. We can pass laws on campaign contributions, etc, but in the end the only real solution is a functioning Democratic Republic.
That's why I wrote this. It gives me great hope. I'm not saying Libertarians are the answer, I'm saying people really do understand the answer. It will take more than two functioning parties - and we're down to one right now. Maybe 3/4.
2016-09-09T15:18:32+00:00 Erik Hare
If they do provide an important service I agree with you. I think Capella does, for one. But the whole industry could benefit from more regulation which makes consumers more aware of what they are getting into and builds confidence. 2016-09-07T16:35:58+00:00 Erik Hare
A very good point. We can devise a whole system that also recruits students from the unemployment rolls. I'm not saying that would work for everyone, but it could work for a lot of people. It would work especially well for a 4-6 week certification program - basically, pass this and you have a job. 2016-09-07T14:44:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that in this market, given the amount of structure, there is no way a for-profit will ever distinguish itself that much from a non-profit. Quality, sure, but that would be about the only way it could.
I think the concept of a degree in "X" skillset is getting very silly. Certifications of some kind which are more flexible and quick make more sense - on top of a "Liberal Arts" kind of degree with maybe some general breakdown - eg, Engineering, Sciences, etc.
A PhD in Chemistry I can handle. A BA/BS? I dunno.
2016-09-07T01:08:08+00:00 Erik Hare
I haven't written about it in a long time, but yes - the main reason manufacturing jobs were so good is that they offered a lot of upward mobility. Looking back on it, however, I can't see any reason why that was necessarily true - but it certainly was traditional. Loyalty used to be a big thing in every corporation, but it was especially true in manufacturing. I honestly don't know why.
duPont makes me angry. They are indeed dead. The European chemical companies are not doing all that well, either, but they aren't dead. It's something. The move to specialties as good profit centers has helped a lot.
I don't think workers move between companies because they would have to move to a new city to do so - and Germans don't usually move. But I do think they could if there was an opening, yes. They have a system based partially on seniority but also based on qualifications for skill as set up by the unions. You achieve a rank based on what you know. Very German.
2016-09-07T00:58:18+00:00 Erik Hare
Start with the last part - Hey, I had to disclose! It didn't seem good without it up front!

OK, as for the rest of it. Yes! The model we use is that everything falls on the worker. So we get some of that to be picked up by the government but where is the On the Job Training? I've written about this before and feel that it simply HAS to make a come-back.
Looking at this news item strictly in isolation, however, we can see why. The model that implies skills are acquired from an educational institution which responds to the market really doesn't work.
It may work if we start talking about certifications rather than actual degrees, but as it stands now the model is broken no matter how you look at it.
I'm not against private for-profit education. But I will admit that it's not living up to a major part of its promise when it comes to what ITT was offering.
If you think such schools should be closed I'll tell you this - the free market is about to close them because consumer confidence is waning fast. The industry has to nearly re-invent itself if it's going to remain - and it really does need more regulation, or at least better regulation, if it's going to restore confidence.
Is there a role for purely vocational education? I'd say yes, there is. Not as a centerpiece of all education, but there is a role for it. Is this the best way to do it? Doesn't look like it is now.
2016-09-07T00:48:46+00:00 Erik Hare
The principle is that a for-profit model is more responsive and can give people the skills they need. That doesn't work anywhere near as well as advertised and may be impossible given how these institutions have to be regulated.
If there is a way out of it which demonstrates the value of for-profits I'm all for it. And I certainly value the education I received at Carnegie, although it was entirely paid for on scholarship.
But as it stands now the only way we have to really regulate them is with a very blunt instrument. That doesn't do anyone any good.
2016-09-07T00:38:13+00:00 Erik Hare
I love working this stuff through in discussion and debate. :-) 2016-09-05T16:27:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! And cheers to the workingman, the members of the Unions that built our nation! 2016-09-05T16:25:25+00:00 Erik Hare
This is a take-off from my previous predictions that:
1) There will be a labor shortage in the near future, and
2) Companies are going to keep demanding higher skill levels.

We have already seen both trends forming around us. If they accelerate, as we can expect, we will be in a condition that has always created labor unions. Always. It simply seems inevitable.
2016-09-05T16:24:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point. They will, and that might well be the spark that makes educated professionals see the need for some kind of organization - call it a Guild, a Union, a Professional Association, whatever. 2016-09-05T16:23:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Demographics is destiny. The wave of retirement is real and it will take nearly 10M workers out of the pool in the next 4 years. There are about 7 million who might replace them. That's 2% of the total workforce, pushing headline unemployment under 3%. It is never under 3% - 4% is pretty much full employment. 2016-09-02T18:23:51+00:00 Erik Hare
It will be a few years before this happens, and I do expect when it is first proposed there will be a massive backlash, yes. But this will come. 2016-09-02T15:13:11+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point, but unlike individuals they exist solely for semi-public function. I have always thought that taxing corporations, not people, made the most sense as I don't see how corporations have an inherent right to privacy. 2016-08-31T16:12:18+00:00 Erik Hare
That is one point worth taking from this, but as you said Apple customers do take on a "cult-like" insulation from all of this. I hope it does cost Apple in a big way - simply so that it sets an example. That could be a source of pressure for us to at least attempt to harmonize our corporate tax laws with the rest of the world. 2016-08-31T16:11:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-08-29T16:40:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! I'm trying to do what I can to spread positive examples and ideas. 2016-08-29T14:54:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. But we all know it's true, yes? Whatever we can do to work through this we have to do. Seriously, "there are many paths to enlightenment" wasn't as good? :-) 2016-08-29T14:54:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Very much so. 2016-08-29T14:47:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely! Very few people are able to embrace real empathy and real empowerment. I have seen white liberals act and speak in very patronizing ways - it's infuriating. There is a lot to get past everywhere. Racism is at the core of our nation. 2016-08-29T14:47:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely! As I mentioned here, they are the only ones anyone can rely on. It makes Turkey very nervous, but they are, as I noted previously, earning their nationhood the hard way. 2016-08-29T14:35:22+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm a big Fed supporter generally, as they are one of the few truly functional parts of our "government" (they aren't really government) But YES, they must do this. They have to re-focus and be very open about it. 2016-08-27T16:15:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Right now, I'd say 3 of 12 Presidents plus the Chair favor serious attention to outreach and transparency. it's really just a start, but a good one. 2016-08-27T15:46:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Generally, you do have a point. There's always Margaret Thatcher, however. :-) 2016-08-27T15:45:15+00:00 Erik Hare
That's how I see it. I would like them to be more open if they have more power, of course. 2016-08-27T15:44:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, absolutely! And the bond market is behind this with so much money going to T-Bills in search of a "safe haven". We have a 30yr bond rate of 2.25% and a growth in GDP of over 3% (no inflation) - that's basically free money by any measure. We have no excuse for not doing what the bond market says we should be doing - infrastructure. It's desperately needed, as are pushes for clean energy (via a prize system?) and so on. 2016-08-24T17:56:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Year over year, oil is if anything up. So that effect has been accounted for. Thanks! 2016-08-24T15:39:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Eventually job growth will slow, yes, but for now we are doing well. This is an example of how dumb it gets, yes. 2016-08-24T15:39:29+00:00 Erik Hare
I still think that trade deals really don't influence anything but the margins. There is definitely a general belief that there isn't anything good to invest in at this time, which is terrible for the economy. It's the one thing holding us back, and it seems to be a matter of faith more than anything else. 2016-08-24T15:38:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, them. Sanders got a completely raw deal. My best guess is that he wasn't sensational enough, but the lack of reporting on Sanders was appalling. 2016-08-23T13:46:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point, but we are in a very bad place right now. We have to get out of it as soon as the Trump threat is over, if not sooner. And yes, we will have his people around for a long time - does that mean we're constantly going to be at war? That doesn't bode well for a better future, as I do believe we are indeed "Stronger Together". 2016-08-22T17:39:45+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't want thing to return to the "good old days", but i do hope we can try again to find a way to at least engage in conversation. Most of the "news" I see attempt to be definitive, which is rather ridiculous. And arrogant.
Barataria has to make a strong statement, but I do try to pose everything as a question - invite people to be a part of the conversation. That is always the best part. Language along the lines of "it seems as though" and peppering each piece with questions are how I ride that line between definitive, strong prose that's not too mushy and an a call for an open dialogue.
You can tell me how it works. I'm always working on refining it.
2016-08-22T15:29:50+00:00 Erik Hare
To me, it's all about transparency. I do feel that everyone, even those of us who try to be objective (count me 50% on that, please) have a perspective we start from. Stating that up front makes all the difference.
You talk about the UK stations and their shared audience which they compete for. A clear mission statement would clarify this - "We at ITV strive to inform and entertain, particularly the key demographic of 25-40 year old men". No, they will never be that blunt, but you get the idea. We'd know what they are doing. :-)
2016-08-22T15:26:45+00:00 Erik Hare
It will be, indeed. They will probably say it was all planned / rigged. 2016-08-17T14:17:10+00:00 Erik Hare
They are both bad people, but I do agree with you. This is very far from the reboot we need, and the potential problems it all stirs up with Turkey, vis a vis the Kurdish question, are very dangerous. But yes, a foreign policy based on bogeymen is not a real policy but an electoral strategy. 2016-08-17T14:16:46+00:00 Erik Hare
The torment of the Syrian people is far from over. 2016-08-17T14:15:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Even putting Da'ish on the run will be a good thing to crow about for the election. So something will happen, yes. 2016-08-17T14:15:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Don't get me wrong, if we do indeed wipe Isis Isis off the face of the Earth I cannot imagine it helping the people of Syria one bit, let alone making any kind of significant change to the region. But we have set up the situation so that Isis is all the US public cares about and it is actually possible for the administration to declare Victory there. 2016-08-17T03:46:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Mostly. But elections do indeed come from the guts, so you can't stay in the head all the time. 2016-08-15T23:07:59+00:00 Erik Hare
It is nice. When it happens, that is. :-) 2016-08-15T23:07:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point. The urgency of something that is fact-based can trigger a more gut reaction in some people than in others.
2016-08-15T15:19:48+00:00 Erik Hare
This is what I think we need to be talking about. I'm not saying I have all the answers, I'm saying we do have a great opportunity. This is one vision of what it might develop into.
We do have to deal with Iran - no matter what it means. But I'm not sure we have to get rid of al Assad, to be honest. Is that really our purvey? Should we be messing around with other nations in the middle of a civil war?
2016-08-14T16:09:42+00:00 Erik Hare
I have been looking around and I don't see any other place where we are as deeply engaged and mucking around with forces we don't understand - getting ourselves in over our head and not able to swim our way out of. The world really is at peace, mostly, by comparison to past eras. We are much more responsible than we have been previously - we stayed out of Ukraine, we don't screw around with South America, we're not anywhere in Africa. We're not doing anything too stupid by comparison - except in the Middle East. 2016-08-14T16:03:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Many points:
1) If this is at least a starting point for a civilized, decent foreign policy in the region, how on earth do we get there? Does this mean we throw our "partners" in the Gulf under the bus? Any normalizing with Iran will sure feel like it to them - and to Israel, of course. It will be hard to steer this course - and Erdogan is not making it any easier.
2) You could easily call what I've written "self righteous", and I accept that. "Freedom" is a loaded term all around - does that mean completely Western? I don't think so, but there are basic human rights we have to insist on. Doing so invariably becomes self righteous, at least when we've done it in the past. This point alone is worth a lot of soul-searching, IMHO.
3) Fracking. Yuck. I am convinced it can be done cleanly - but it will take a LOT of regulation. Also, it's important to note that the majority of wells in the US are done by "wildcatters" - small operators, often funded by junk bonds, who are throwing the dice really hard. If it all fails they walk away and declare bankruptcy, screwing everyone. "Big Oil" would actually be preferable in that it would be much harder for them to get away with what the small operators do - it would be much easier to regulate and police. I dunno. I am convinced that it can be done cleanly and safely, but we are very much not there yet. It will take a concerted effort to get there.

I really appreciate your comments here. I wish we had discussions like this on CNN et cetera rather than the nonsense we have.
2016-08-14T15:58:06+00:00 Erik Hare
Let's not forget Defense Contractors. There is a lot to be countered to get us to this point, absolutely, but there is no reason we cannot now.
I am trying to flesh out what a foreign policy based on promoting peace and freedom would look like. I don't think it's gotten the attention it deserves. There are a lot of details here, and a lot depends on who is Secretary of State. But this is what it might look like. I want us to start thinking about it more than anything.
2016-08-12T14:14:29+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! There is a lot of good out there. It's just leveraging it to something better! 2016-08-10T19:07:27+00:00 Erik Hare
It's never even been raised. I think that with the right commitment to reconfiguring as a rapid deployment force, we could easily lose most of our forward bases. That's worth over $100B per year. 2016-08-10T19:07:04+00:00 Erik Hare
As long as we don't screw it up, good things could happen, yes. 2016-08-10T19:06:11+00:00 Erik Hare
No, we haven't gotten there. But we could if we aren't careful - and I fear Europe is getting there. 2016-08-09T15:55:51+00:00 Erik Hare
The glass is half full. Sure, I'd say that, I'm an optimist. You want to say it's half empty, well, let's talk. Just don't try to tell me it's completely empty! :-) 2016-08-08T15:25:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you!
2016-08-05T16:42:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I am familiar with many translations of the Tao Te Ching (old spelling) and they do vary a lot. It's clear to me that "ten thousand things" means something like "everything" but is more poetic, for example. 2016-08-05T13:33:26+00:00 Erik Hare
It would be fun to compare idioms with a non-European language speaker - I'm sure nothing is actually translatable. It's the cat's pajamas! (or is that just plain old by now?) 2016-08-05T01:23:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed! Although I remember a Belgian I worked with once said, "You know the old expression - when the cat's away the mice are dancing." That rhymes in Flemish, something like "Wan de katze gegangen de mause sind tanzen." (I really don't know Flemish and my memory of it gets mixed up with German, so it's just close).
Anyways, some of them translate to European cultures, which is really funny!
2016-08-05T00:56:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much!
2016-08-04T19:19:56+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! Yes, it is indeed. 2016-08-03T19:15:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Of course, this is just one part of it - and I think the hard part. A friend just called for a minimum income for all, for example, and peteybee here talked about reducing hours. Both are good. 2016-08-03T15:41:04+00:00 Erik Hare
So far, the median age at retirement is still 65. It seems to be mostly working out. Not sure what quality of life people have but it's still the same age. 2016-08-03T15:40:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. You are right, where we might have a little time here other nations have no time to lose. 2016-08-03T14:06:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Definitely - but first we have to have workers productive enough to make that possible. Or some system for really sharing the wealth. Or possibly both. But as surely as automation is coming, the possibility of a divided society - into those who are part of it and those who aren't - is what we have to avoid. Then we can talk about reducing hours.
2016-08-03T03:41:44+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a lot more to say about waves and progress, but it's very easy to get really far into the weeds with this. I struggle with that all the time. 2016-08-02T15:41:37+00:00 Erik Hare
It's not dead it's resting. Pining for the fjords. :-)
Seriously, I didn't say it was dead, I agreed with the IMF paper which said it was oversold. And the way it was oversold was by not recognizing the effects of business cycles - which is what I centered on in this piece on progressive eras.
What it comes down to is this: A rising tide still lifts all ships, but when the tide goes out and the ship hits the rocks, guess who is first in the lifeboats? Income inequality is a strong function of business cycles for a lot of reason.
There's more to cycles than that, of course, and I'm trying very hard to not turn into one of those cranks who says that K-Waves explain everything. But they sure explain a lot.
Is Neoliberalism dead? The term describes a re-invention of "Liberalism" as the term was used in the late 19th/early 20th Centries - a term still used by The Economist.
What I see is a Neo-Neoliberalism, another wave of new thought interjected into the notion that free markets do work and economic freedom is closely tied to political freedom. I still buy that.
I suspect that this wave of progressivism will include that, given the general skepticism of big government. But it's not coming together very quickly as a philosophy.
2016-08-01T16:29:44+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2016-08-01T16:23:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2016-08-01T15:29:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Time will tell. But we have been moving this direction, steadily, for six years now. The easiest call to make is "Trends will continue". There is nothing about this call that is "out there". 2016-07-29T14:32:37+00:00 Erik Hare
No, I don't buy that. I would much prefer if we didn't have nuclear weapons as close as Turkey, but the Baltic States joined NATO because of bad history and Putin saying that he intends to reconstitute the USSR. I do not see that NATO has provoked anything here. 2016-07-27T16:23:40+00:00 Erik Hare
I deliberately avoided it, yes. I want to see proof he really sold out this nation before I do. Do I think the evidence shows that he either has or plans to? Oh, yes. 2016-07-27T16:21:24+00:00 Erik Hare
That's possible, but I think that what counts is that Trump isn't very bright and can be bought rather easily. 2016-07-27T16:20:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Every nation has to have some concept of the rule of law. That's what the EU was trying to push for in Ukraine when everything exploded. Russia will fight that to the end because they are run by a lawless mafia. 2016-07-27T16:19:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Not at all. Even one large rogue nation hurts us all. 2016-07-27T15:40:59+00:00 Erik Hare
In a certain sense, the current state of Russia is what happens when those kind of forces take over the state. There is essentially nothing left. 2016-07-27T14:11:49+00:00 Erik Hare
But we gotta try. We don't want rational people to be influenced by this poison. If the nonsense goes unanswered, they may. 2016-07-27T00:01:44+00:00 Erik Hare
It's up to all of us to counter it and tell the truth. We have to have truth on our side! 2016-07-25T22:25:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely! 2016-07-25T22:24:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! I do appreciate your re-blogs, they are a high compliment! 2016-07-25T18:18:24+00:00 Erik Hare
I haven't heard anything surrounding those where facts are twisted somehow, so if you have examples of "facts" which don't smell right supporting something let me know. What I've heard on that sort of stuff is more garden variety political, e.g. "Redistributing wealth never works" or "Chopping up big banks will lead to higher rates for (something)." 2016-07-25T03:54:45+00:00 Erik Hare
I consider Piketty essentially a Keynesian in terms of this debate, although his solutions are a bit more permanent than Keynesians usually talk about. But it's about keeping up demand in a nice, steady flow by sharing the wealth more evenly. Piketty says little to nothing about debt, which I think is a failure on his part.
I do think business cycles are the most important thing to consider overall. A rising tide still lifts all ships, but when the ship hits the rocks at low tide who are the first on the lifeboats? That is what seems to crush working people, IMHO.
Understanding just what business cycles are and what causes them is important.
2016-07-22T16:35:37+00:00 Erik Hare
It's still out there. This is a set-up for something coming out of the Federal Reserve. They are getting more Keynesian all the time, but not without a fight. 2016-07-22T14:04:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Very good, I do agree we need a higher inflation target. I just don't know how we get the velocity up where it has to be to achieve that. But yes, all around, inflation is a good thing in small amounts. 2016-07-22T14:03:53+00:00 Erik Hare
With Putin in the mix, of course. The perennial enemy of Turkey. 2016-07-20T19:09:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-07-20T19:08:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Will this get out into the world, however? Pence was clearly forced on Trump by the same people who drafted that horrible platform. I don't understand it at all. Ideological purity is definitely more important to them than winning - or governing, for that matter. And they are really evil, yes - and I hate to use that word. I have yet to find words to describe just how I feel about this. 2016-07-18T16:04:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Letting him talk is a good strategy, yes. The more he hogs the press the more we see who he is. The Iraq War part of the Lesley Stahl interview was the most telling to me - Pence gets a pass? Hmmmm .... 2016-07-18T15:49:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Peace to everyone. Peace to us all. Way too much violence lately. 2016-07-18T15:15:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. I would love to say they don't matter anymore and we can stop having them. I've always hated them, but after St Paul hosted the 2008 convention I now see them as an atrocity. "Free Speech Zone" ??? What a crime that is all around. And they do attract all the crazies so as much as I want to blame the police state, always out in full force, there is a lot of blame to go around. Just horrible things. 2016-07-18T15:15:06+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, the potential for violence is the big wild card. Ug. Thank yoU! 2016-07-18T15:13:15+00:00 Erik Hare
I think he will be on the ticket now for sure. But yes, I suppose we have to expect a surprise. How do we do that? :-) 2016-07-18T15:12:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope it's quiet, to be honest. I would not want to see dead bodies no matter how much it helps "my side". 2016-07-18T15:12:01+00:00 Erik Hare
It would be novel, yes? :-) 2016-07-15T17:28:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. I didn't want to dwell on it this time around, as we've done a lot, but the American Society for Civil Engineers puts the infrastructure deficit at $3.6 trillion. We might be able to close half of that by 2020 with a concerted effort involving state and local governments if we re-prioritize Federal spending.
2016-07-15T17:28:33+00:00 Erik Hare
Very much so, nothing is "over". 2016-07-13T17:04:54+00:00 Erik Hare
I think the platform came out very good all around. Clinton was forced to make promises that she can keep, which is to say that there is more to them and they are integrated into a solid budget plan. This is a win all around. 2016-07-13T17:04:38+00:00 Erik Hare
I think she may be sincere on TPP, if for no other reason than she knows that complex trade deals (if it's really a trade deal) are a dead issue politically.
It's also important to see who else becomes part of the inner circle. I'm assuming Robert Reich would impress you if he looked like he would return to the cabinet, no? So there probably is a lot more to reach out on, yes. It's a process.
Yes, it's all about Congress at this point to me. We'll never get anything done until we get both houses, and that is still a tall order. Sigh. Even then, I'm sure progressives will have to keep the pressure on to avoid something bad from happening.
2016-07-13T17:03:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I will try to pin this to the bottom as a "last word" by adjusting the date forward. SEPTEMBER 1, 1939 by W.H. Auden I sit in one of the dives On Fifty-second Street Uncertain and afraid As the clever hopes expire Of a low dishonest decade: Waves of anger and fear Circulate over the bright And darkened lands of the earth, Obsessing our private lives; The unmentionable odour of death Offends the September night. Accurate scholarship can Unearth the whole offence From Luther until now That has driven a culture mad, Find what occurred at Linz, What huge imago made A psychopathic god: I and the public know What all schoolchildren learn, Those to whom evil is done Do evil in return. Exiled Thucydides knew All that a speech can say About Democracy, And what dictators do, The elderly rubbish they talk To an apathetic grave; Analysed all in his book, The enlightenment driven away, The habit-forming pain, Mismanagement and grief: We must suffer them all again. Into this neutral air Where blind skyscrapers use Their full height to proclaim The strength of Collective Man, Each language pours its vain Competitive excuse: But who can live for long In an euphoric dream; Out of the mirror they stare, Imperialism's face And the international wrong. Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play, All the conventions conspire To make this fort assume The furniture of home; Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good. The windiest militant trash Important Persons shout Is not so crude as our wish: What mad Nijinsky wrote About Diaghilev Is true of the normal heart; For the error bred in the bone Of each woman and each man Craves what it cannot have, Not universal love But to be loved alone. From the conservative dark Into the ethical life The dense commuters come, Repeating their morning vow; 'I will be true to the wife, I'll concentrate more on my work,' And helpless governors wake To resume their compulsory game: Who can release them now, Who can reach the dead, Who can speak for the dumb? All I have is a voice To undo the folded lie, The romantic lie in the brain Of the sensual man-in-the-street And the lie of Authority Whose buildings grope the sky: There is no such thing as the State And no one exists alone; Hunger allows no choice To the citizen or the police; We must love one another or die. Defenseless under the night Our world in stupor lies; Yet, dotted everywhere, Ironic points of light Flash out wherever the Just Exchange their messages: May I, composed like them Of Eros and of dust, Beleaguered by the same Negation and despair, Show an affirming flame. 2016-07-13T16:22:50+00:00 Erik Hare
It is all about training, in my opinion. And making sure that the police have the resources to do their job without getting burned out and overwhelmed. 2016-07-11T20:33:02+00:00 Erik Hare
You said "them". :-) Seriously, I think everyone can see what is being protested now and why we have to change. 2016-07-11T14:12:52+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! Would I like a wider audience? Of course! I'd love to be paid, too. And I think that a lot of consumers of news (lectovores in general) would like my context-rich approach.
I know I'm having an influence as it is, and that's enough for now. As long as it gets me a good job somewhere near the field I'll be happy.
2016-07-11T14:12:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Martha, that makes sense to me. I am hesitating because the law itself says that you do NOT have to reveal you have a gun unless asked.
There does seem to be some confusion as to the proper protocol. This should be cleared up as soon as possible. I would like for someone official to state some kind of authoritative procedure for a traffic stop while carrying. And I do hope that what you tell me turns out to be right.
I am sure we both agree that Castille's death did not have to happen no matter how you look at it, however.
2016-07-11T00:48:22+00:00 Erik Hare
You are probably right. I can't see any such agreement passing any time soon even if there was one. 2016-07-08T15:31:19+00:00 Erik Hare
So far, doing nothing favors the big interests. Perhaps step one is to change it so that this isn't an option. 2016-07-08T13:06:18+00:00 Erik Hare
They will always be complicated, but they don't have to be this porous. I can't see why any large company actually pays taxes in this system. 2016-07-08T13:05:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Now, now. They haven't done anything that was actually criminal. 2016-07-06T15:50:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Mostly, yes. But while prosecution was probably not justified, every similar case was at least investigated by the FBI, meaning Clinton got the treatment that everyone else does. That's only fair. 2016-07-06T15:49:50+00:00 Erik Hare
An excellent piece, and I agree with it, too. Leaking for the purpose of informing the public has been raised to the status of selling secrets to the enemy, and that is terrible. I agree with the author that prosecution in this case was not justified, but it's been justified in far, far too many situations lately. We need a complete re-think about what "classified" is and how we can develop the more open government we need. 2016-07-06T15:48:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-07-06T15:46:26+00:00 Erik Hare
She definitely should have asked more questions. Whether or not that is criminal is another question. 2016-07-06T15:46:17+00:00 Erik Hare
There has never been a high profile case like this prosecuted. 2016-07-06T15:45:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Very true. 2016-07-04T16:45:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! I am a bit sheepish about re-using old posts, but I really like this one. It's at the core of what I believe. 2016-07-04T16:45:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! It means a lot to me. 2016-07-04T16:45:02+00:00 Erik Hare
A belated Happy Canada Day to you! I always like how your nation gradually agreed your way to independence. So very Canadian (also shown in how you still argue about it - politely yet pointedly! :-) ) 2016-07-04T16:44:42+00:00 Erik Hare
You have to keep your eyes open and really dig for truth. :-) 2016-07-02T19:55:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Correlation does not imply causality. :-) 2016-07-02T19:51:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! I thought I should do something a little different for the holiday. 2016-07-02T19:51:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Great addition! I have to say I like it much better as a poem than as a song - it's far too hard to sing IMHO. 2016-07-02T19:50:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. But investment is all about risk management, and when we don't have things in a neat little box people tend to see nothing but risk everywhere - and sit on their money. 2016-06-30T01:44:01+00:00 Erik Hare
I haven't exactly reached what I would call a "conclusion" yet. 2016-06-29T16:29:43+00:00 Erik Hare
That is indeed the problem. On the face of it there is no need for government to screw around with this. Then again, that would clearly result in chaos. 2016-06-29T16:29:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely! You've been a big help getting me down this path, and thank you. My concern about Sanders' people is more that they are susceptible to big ideas at times. That's OK, but if we learned one thing from the last few hundred years it's that small ideas, people, lead the way to truly successful revolutions. 2016-06-29T01:58:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Probably not stupid, but I don't understand their position at all, no. 2016-06-28T17:47:00+00:00 Erik Hare
It really was a surprise to just about everyone. Very strange, actually. 2016-06-28T14:58:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, it could. 2016-06-27T16:23:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! The EU is terribly flawed, but leaving is very different from fixing it. That's the real problem. They still need an EU. 2016-06-27T16:23:19+00:00 Erik Hare
It's a mess, all around. This will take a long time to sort out. Just finishing my next piece on it. I say all bets are off until the dust settles. 2016-06-26T21:43:05+00:00 Erik Hare
There does have to be some "order" to the world, yes. You or I may not like the first pass at it, but retreating back into a lack of order whilst at the same time we are indeed living much closer together is quite dangerous. We have reason to be worried by all this.
2016-06-24T21:52:39+00:00 Erik Hare
I was going off of some of the talk that was part of this election. Leaving aside the refugee / immigration crisis, which I think has been talked about at great length in response to what it meant to the election, it seemed that we had two main arguments. One was that none of the arrangements in place now work for the workingman, and the other was that the EU was essentially Germany. Those two contrast nicely.
Common Market history is indeed fascinating and, as I have written in the past, the EU is absolutely necessary for many, many reasons.
The UK decision was horrible. The EU is flawed, yes, but some kind of economic union is essential and some kind of political common policy, if not union, is also essential. One would think that would be obvious by now. It wasn't.
2016-06-24T21:51:29+00:00 Erik Hare
Don't forget a Northern Irish referendum on joining the Republic. That may be in the works as well. 2016-06-24T17:29:11+00:00 Erik Hare
No. They have to re-align and where they wind up is anyone's guess. My first thought is that the US as a "safe harbor" has just become the destination of choice for all money all around the world. But we're not putting it to good use here, so the returns aren't as good as they could be. This won't help risk aversion one bit, either, and that is a real root problem.
So how will it all re-align? Hard to say.
2016-06-24T17:05:01+00:00 Erik Hare
It could be. Let's watch the fallout and see what the message is. 2016-06-24T17:03:37+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm taking a step back. I do think that if there was a good balance and the economy worked for everyone we wouldn't be here today. By "here" I mean all of us in this ugly place we are in. I'm looking for a root cause of all this unrest, which is indeed global. Well, it's not anywhere near as bad in Germany - for some good reasons, I think. 2016-06-24T17:03:10+00:00 Erik Hare
There is no way to look at this without seeing a big mistake. The EU certainly over-stepped itself with political union - before it got the rest of its house in order. I'll give the "leave" crowd that.
But the basic concept of moving closer together is a reality. People all over the world are fighting it, but they can't. The next generation doesn't support this nativism and it will eventually move at its own pace towards a more unified world. But how? What will it look like? How will it make a world which is resilient and provides real opportunities for all? How will it be open and free? Dunno.
All we know is that the EU model is being forced to retrace its steps. And the UK has to go back to figuring out what it means to be "post-imperial".
2016-06-24T17:01:51+00:00 Erik Hare
It's bad, all around. It's less about the UK as much as a general failure of the EU. 2016-06-24T16:54:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I'd love your thoughts, too - maybe as this settles out. I just see a fundamental power imbalance that prevents the EU from being anything more than a mush. Without the UK it seems really lost. 2016-06-24T03:41:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Which of the two is a practicing Christian? Only Clinton. http://www.christianpost.com/news/6-interesting-facts-about-hillary-clintons-christian-faith-138314/ 2016-06-22T17:40:19+00:00 Erik Hare
They did create the monster, and they do have an obligation to stop it. Like Dr. Frankenstein. But will they? We'll see. 2016-06-22T17:39:26+00:00 Erik Hare
The odds are at least long, so it probably won't happen. But remember that we have another finance report and the Judge's decision in Cohen v Trump yet to come. 2016-06-22T17:38:45+00:00 Erik Hare
I think they may just. Odds are still long, but not impossible. 2016-06-22T16:27:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Who do I think is more sincere and has the American people in their heart first?
Clinton, by a very, very wide margin. There is absolutely no contest on that standard.
2016-06-22T16:26:31+00:00 Erik Hare
My contention has always been that he is a fraud. I think that is about to be proved. We'll see. 2016-06-22T02:31:34+00:00 Erik Hare
I have spoken to a lot of Trump supporters and had some very good, respectful conversations.
What it seems to come down to is that the people in power are either incredibly corrupt or they have no idea what they are doing (readers of this site know I'm really sure it's mostly the latter).
Either way, Trump fans want someone from the outside with experience making things happen to come in and try something new. And that is a very reasonable instinct, if you ask me.
My entire problem is that Trump is deeply flawed as a person - and I am quite convinced that he is not a successful business man but is instead a VERY successful professional celebrity. In other words, a complete fraud.
So I do understand why people back someone like Trump - although I still believe that at the very top experience does count and the place to put in new blood is in the House and Senate. But I'll leave that all aside.
There is a place for good business people, IMHO. They are the ones who can make social legislation and safety nets actually work. We need people like that engaged in the process if you ask me.
Just not at the very top, unless they've proved themselves. And never Trump - he's much more like Kim Kardashian (sp?) than, say, Warren Buffet.
2016-06-22T02:23:37+00:00 Erik Hare
First of all, thank you for a level-headed reply to what is probably my nastiest post ever. You're a better person than I am on this one.
And you do have a point - he has ALWAYS defied the odds. I do not see him possibly elected, however. The odds are way against him. With no money it's just worse.
2016-06-22T01:08:38+00:00 Erik Hare
By all means, and this is something more interesting than what is going on here. It does look like Brexit will fail, but we will see! 2016-06-21T15:43:30+00:00 Erik Hare
We aren't really set up for more than two parties, but we do need more open discussion of what's wrong. In any other democratic society there are outlets for more voices. Will the Libertarians hit prime time? Maybe they will this time! 2016-06-21T03:55:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Several points here. First of all, I don't understand how VC funds operate, to be honest, and there are none that I can see which are truly "public" and trackable. So there is a limit to how much money can possibly go into any given fund.
Second, most target very small businesses. I cannot find good information all around, but this article has some that suggests that larger funds are coming into play, which will spread risk around.
I didn't use this article for this piece because it really doesn't have much to say about the total amount of money coming into VC as a trend, but it does show that it favors smaller operations.
2016-06-20T15:40:33+00:00 Erik Hare
I completely agree, but the rest of the world does not. We have to go with sentiment and figure out what it will take to change it. I see risk aversion as a major problem right now - and a big contributor to the "skills gap" among other issues. 2016-06-20T15:12:39+00:00 Erik Hare
The thing is that in order to make it work, we we have to understand it. How, indeed, do we get money into the hands of people who are going to fuel the new economy in the way everyone talks about - technology and innovation driven stuff? And what safety net is appropriate? How do we protect a "flexible" workforce that works from one contract to the next? How do we guarantee such workers an income that will keep them going?
There are a LOT of questions, but if you start from the perspective of "we have a new economy forming" they are all very hard to answer.
2016-06-20T14:34:26+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, the whole economy is re-making itself. It is largely a question of who benefits - how the economy is made. But we don't need a "revolution" - it's already started. 2016-06-20T14:20:45+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. 2016-06-17T17:38:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, indeed. 2016-06-17T17:09:48+00:00 Erik Hare
I think you hit something important, sister. Very important. 2016-06-17T17:09:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Because only 15 states are sane? Keep in mind that I am being a bit conservative here - it's well known that many of the guns in some of these states - IL, MA, especially DC - come from other states. A more universal law would even cut gun deaths in those states. 2016-06-15T19:00:11+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree. This is not that, however, but just a start. 2016-06-15T17:24:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. I'm looking for common ground that bridges the political divide here. That's where I think we have to start. 2016-06-15T17:24:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. And yes, I have my ideas and political thoughts on all this - but in the middle of grief is just not the time. 2016-06-14T14:33:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen. 2016-06-13T21:11:06+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. 2016-06-13T18:09:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. My readers are much better than I am. All I ask is for a good conversation - and alla y'all come through beautifully. 2016-06-13T16:29:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. But I think we can all get through eventually. It's not about our opinion, it's about one voice made of many. We have a ways to go. 2016-06-13T16:19:23+00:00 Erik Hare
It is so long it will kill the thread. If I can find a way to pin it to the bottom I will. Thank you. 2016-06-13T16:18:33+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. You have a very powerful angle here that I am only now starting to think through. This is very important. Thank you. 2016-06-13T15:04:08+00:00 Erik Hare
My response is weak. Normally, I would wait to say something stronger but I felt as though I could not avoid this. Consider this post nothing more than a series of sobs from a fetal position in the corner, if you want.
We have to start from the place I describe here, I am sure. Is it enough to take us out to solve the problem, to get past the violence? No. This is not a course of action, it is a statement of principles.
I have written many times on the need for simple respect and decency, but that always flies of the situation at 30,000 feet. Yet that is where we have to come from. They are also a form of love - a cool acceptance of the value of all human life. It is a love all the same. It is also just a start.
We must not allow outrage to propel us, that's all I know. While I am outraged by this shooting it cannot be the only response I have. There must be another way. We must all find another way.
As I think of more I will try to say something more intelligent - something with a stronger plan of action in it, as you have. Thank you for your words - you are indeed spot on. When we have the strength that comes from some time from which a resolve is built we can go forward and put an end to this endless cycle of outrage and hate. I do appreciate what you say here very much.
For now, I find myself huddled in the corner in a fetal position. I am focusing on the only thing that can possibly help me build more resolve to do something about this.
That's not action, not yet. We do need action before more people die.
2016-06-13T15:03:24+00:00 Erik Hare
It is the conversation that is important. There is so much wrong with our world that we have to stop and take note of it all. The bizzy machine has to stop whirling for a moment and we have to ask, "What is it we really want? What will make us happy?" 2016-06-13T14:55:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I went with the rant. I really felt like I couldn't avoid it for this one - the killing just keeps getting more and more. 2016-06-13T14:03:31+00:00 Erik Hare
We are failing in mental health issues every way we can, from putting as much stress on people as possible to a health system that is both terrible at maintenance / promoting health as well as not including universal access to anything. If you take this angle, the failures stack up quickly. 2016-06-13T14:02:58+00:00 Erik Hare
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJEwrw4VEls 2016-06-10T20:51:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you for the explanation. To a Yankee like me mentioning Santa Anna as a kind of patron saint to Tejanos seems vaguely racist. But having come from a multi-cultural place (Miami) I do understand that people always "go there" and it's just a way of laughing off the tensions and getting along.
So, yeah, if it's a Texas thing and all Texans make jokes about it we're all cool. Just keep in mind that those of us not from your nation, er, state aren't always sure what to make of it. :-)
2016-06-10T20:38:53+00:00 Erik Hare
You know, that is her greatest strength - being underestimated constantly. It's part of what makes her so tough - a man with her gravitas would not be messed with all the time. She has to stay sharp all the time.
Do you remember my piece on women in power through history and how many of them were truly great leaders? This may be why. They never, ever let their guard down. They couldn't.
Angela Merkel is very much the same way. She is Clinton with a German accent. There may be something great to this analysis.
Thank you! :-)
2016-06-10T15:56:43+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree all around - it's way better to be mobile and strike just about anywhere that you have a chance. Even a feint to test the line, especially early on, is good.
I think we will see that Clinton is ahead once the Democrats get their act together. Polls from around next week should reflect unity, at least in part. That will tell us where we really stand.
Totally agree on "prevent defense". I have seen a lot of good teams lose games they shouldn't have with that crap. Clinton knows this, too, but probably not from football. :-)
2016-06-10T15:51:05+00:00 Erik Hare
No, but they might rise up for themselves. Trump made this awfully personal. I really don't know why Latinos don't vote, but my guess is that there isn't anything in the system that speaks to them. Wendy Davis couldn't rally them, but that doesn't seem surprising.
I think you are asking a good question, and there does have to be more to it than Clinton. Not-Trump is a good start, but is it really enough?
2016-06-10T14:53:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Pancho Villa, maybe? :-) 2016-06-10T14:13:35+00:00 Erik Hare
What's all this about Santa Anna? People are hatin' on Texas here. :-) 2016-06-10T14:13:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Remember, he had only one real leg, so he would have to be careful about losing his ass, too. 2016-06-10T14:12:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I will address the Texas phenom in more detail in a new post. In the meantime, here is my electoral map:

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com
2016-06-09T19:45:52+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2016-06-08T22:53:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, more reasons to hate ______ (someone) 2016-06-08T22:53:09+00:00 Erik Hare
That's my job! :-) 2016-06-08T22:10:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, we just have to find it! 2016-06-08T22:10:25+00:00 Erik Hare
This will be ugly, but there is always a chance we can have some discussion about the future of this nation in and among the noise. 2016-06-06T17:32:44+00:00 Erik Hare
That seems to be a big part of the strategy for both campaigns. Trump will keep talking to the press, which will probably do him more damage than anything else now that the press is on to him. 2016-06-06T17:32:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, all around! I think there is a fine line between responding to him and engaging him. What she just did was to spank him, essentially, which keeps her above the fray. Surrogates can do the heavier lifting. A constant barrage of "fraud" is the key, however. 2016-06-06T17:31:33+00:00 Erik Hare
It may not change this election, but a voter registration drive targeting a million people is still a good idea. Texans are dissatisfied with where things are going - economically, socially, and now the flooding. Plus, Trump will indeed scare Latinos to the polls. It's worth fighting for a lot of reasons. 2016-06-06T14:45:26+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-06-03T22:12:13+00:00 Erik Hare
A Jesuit tradition, I think. :-) 2016-06-03T22:12:06+00:00 Erik Hare
How wonderful! Yes, he is like that as well as the profound stuff. :-) 2016-06-03T22:11:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Also, I want to make it clear here - this is about perspective more than anything else. It only touches on the problems and does nothing to provide solutions. Simply noting that business cycles are real, that income inequality accelerates in downturns, and that different policies are required during those times is pretty big for the IMF itself to admit. As I concluded, and others here are saying, it's far from enough. But it's a start. 2016-06-01T17:58:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Fair enough. As I said in the end, it's a start, but only that. 2016-06-01T17:53:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Not really. This article is getting at one of the roots of income inequality, which is business cycles. A steady economy produces less inequality than one that goes up and down all the time. The very wealthy can make money at both ends, the poor suffer in the downturns terribly. Debt cycles have a lot to do with trying to survive the downturns.
So I'm sorry that I didn't make that clear in the article, but we're talking about one of the things that the IMF researchers and I agree on, which is that business cycles are a big part of the problem. We're actually both concerned with income inequality and as for austerity I thought I addressed that directly as a big load of crap.
What is important here is that IMF researchers are challenging the IMF methodology, which includes austerity. I've long supported this position and I am glad they have come around to this thinking.
2016-06-01T17:49:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Short answer: yes.
Long answer - it's completely revolutionary because most modern economics starts with the assumption that the desire of policy is to produce smooth, steady growth. If you accept that this is not natural, or even possible, everything has to change. Further, it implies that the correct policy at any given moment is not dictated by ideology but by situational analysis - which is to say that a good economic policy is more like being an auto mechanic than an academic. You can see how this would rub a lot of people with fancy degrees the wrong way.
There is no "one way". Reagan's emphasis on supply-side was the right thing to do in 1980 but it's exactly the wrong thing right now. And even when it was the right thing I can make the case that they oversold it then, too.
No one in academia or in central banks likes this way of thinking, but it seems to be quite reasonable. The reason I emphasize this Depression is that it does require a completely new understanding of economic policy that is neither Neoliberal nor Socialist.
2016-06-01T15:36:34+00:00 Erik Hare
So sorry to hear that he passed without telling you more. That generation did indeed just do without whining. We miss them terribly as a society. 2016-05-30T20:02:54+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a bigger message here - we don't have anything to whine about, and even if we did whining wouldn't solve a damned thing.
Leadership is what makes the difference whenever things get tough. Whether it's leading and inspiring others or just steeling yourself, it's really about leadership to get the job done. That's what we need more of.
2016-05-30T15:21:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you so much, I am glad to have touched you. I would have loved to have met your Dad as I love meeting all veterans. Their stories need to be told because we are asked so little in our own lives. 2016-05-30T15:12:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! And by all means, it's a great honor to be reblogged! 2016-05-30T01:59:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-05-28T05:49:40+00:00 Erik Hare
I will run it every year. We need more of the peace they have in Oakland - especially for the living. 2016-05-28T05:49:29+00:00 Erik Hare
It is a beautiful place, and worth spending a lot of time in.
2016-05-28T05:48:51+00:00 Erik Hare
That would be our big advantage, yes. But how do you demonstrate THAT on a resume, eh? The system doesn't seem to be able to screen for things like common sense - or value them at all. 2016-05-25T16:31:20+00:00 Erik Hare
That is a good point! I hope there are still jobs for front-line customer service reps, though. Far too much of that is being automated (badly). "Push 1 to hear yourself scream, Push 2 to hear instructions in Bengali ..."
2016-05-25T16:30:28+00:00 Erik Hare
:-) Touche!
2016-05-23T21:51:19+00:00 Erik Hare
That's pretty much where I am coming from, yes. But there are a lot of questions about who we are as a people which need to be answered. There's no reason we can't work through that if everyone stays calm, of course. It's almost as if people refuse to be calm.
Again, this is all about bad leadership. The bathroom bill, to use your example, didn't come from nowhere. Someone in a position of leadership thought this was a good idea.
2016-05-23T15:45:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much. 2016-05-23T15:14:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Fantastic quote, and very true! That is the part of our mythology we need to keep, for sure. I'm thinking about what is true and useful in our mythology and what is not.
2016-05-23T15:13:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! I have always though that any gun regulation should center on precisely what the military sees as the critical component - training. I have no problem with people who know what they are doing owning and carrying arms. I also see nothing wrong with encouraging this, either. But I don't know how even this approach would pass the test implied by Heller - that it is a fundamental right akin to free speech.
Yes, criminals will always find a way to have guns, for sure. I think far too much emphasis is placed on the weapon and nowhere near enough on the person who is carrying it. I do believe that if you use a gun in the commission of a crime the penalties should be severe - again, it's an emphasis on the person, not the weapon.
2016-05-23T01:47:37+00:00 Erik Hare
That has been my feeling. The DNC chair hasn't helped, but letting this burn out really only makes Sanders' side look terrible. 2016-05-20T20:12:05+00:00 Erik Hare
That does seem to be what's happening, yes. And it's not good for anyone. 2016-05-20T20:05:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Proportional delegates have kept this race alive a lot longer than it would otherwise, yes. That's the main reason I get angry when I hear all this "It's rigged!" talk. Yeesh.
2016-05-20T17:16:54+00:00 Erik Hare
I worry about the same thing. There are a series of "facts" which are not true that have been believed by the Sanders camp simply because they have been repeated often. 2016-05-20T14:02:49+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope and pray it was a totally isolated incident. That would be good for us all.
Let's see what happens when it gets to New Jersey. :-)
2016-05-20T01:27:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks, Josh. I'm just dismayed at all this. I honestly think the stakes couldn't be much lower for so much fuss, and no one was paying attention to what the downside might be.
I know, I'm a Clinton supporter. But I'm all for Sanders going to the convention, and I'm all for him raising a fuss. He should get a lot of representation in the platform, for sure.
But this ... this does no one any good. It doesn't help him or the cause, and it certainly doesn't help Clinton. Bleck.
2016-05-20T00:43:50+00:00 Erik Hare
I can only imagine how strange it looks. I don't understand it entirely myself. 2016-05-19T19:50:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed. I don't think many people know of this, either. 2016-05-19T00:08:14+00:00 Erik Hare
The Supreme court should be a very large issue in this campaign. Which is in and of itself rather sad, but it's the way it is. 2016-05-18T20:24:06+00:00 Erik Hare
That was always my read, too, but with Heller the fundamental individual right is the law of the land. It was not before. 2016-05-18T14:55:36+00:00 Erik Hare
No, they are not. I would like some sensible things to regulate people, however. If nothing else they should know how to use these things that will be with us. 2016-05-18T14:54:57+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point - guns got ahead of our ability to understand them - what they are for, what they can do, et cetera. Hardly the only thing in that category, but one of the most lethal. 2016-05-18T14:54:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Dodd-Frank gave up some ground, but the Democrats controlled Congress at that time (2010). It wasn't really a compromise at all - it's very comprehensive and generally does just what it is supposed to. Where it is lacking is in the non-bank area, and I think that Frank would be one of the first to acknowledge that this is a shortcoming. But in terms of banks it seems that the very worst is covered, at least. 2016-05-16T18:22:45+00:00 Erik Hare
That's probably true all around. It sure sounds good - it's all their fault and now we must punish them. 2016-05-16T18:20:14+00:00 Erik Hare
No bank in the US is big enough to even come close to triggering anti-trust laws. If they do cooperate in something like a trust they will be in serious trouble - but they tend to be much more competitive than that. 2016-05-16T02:13:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly, that's my point. We do have a problem, yes. It's a lot better than it was after Dodd-Frank and the Volker Rule but it's still there. And breaking up banks is not going to help it one bit. 2016-05-16T02:12:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point. It is about 1%, which is why this would take the headline unemployment from 5% to 4%. That may not seem like a lot, but it is a big deal if you are one of the million-plus people. 2016-05-13T16:32:20+00:00 Erik Hare
I wish it were that easy. I can't tell you how many applications I've filled out over the last few months. Companies want a very precise fit - and you better not look "overqualified" because they fear you'll ask for too much money. 2016-05-13T14:51:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Perhaps I did. But budgets are very tight and there isn't much room for trying someone out if they can't grow quickly into the position, no matter how smart they are. Then again, with the number of contract workers out there employers can do a "trial run" with a person rather than sit around and wait for the perfect person with a lot of skills and a low desire for pay.
So I do see your point. But companies are slow to hire for a lot of reasons today and this is just one of them.
2016-05-13T14:50:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Over the long haul that does seem like the best solution. Certification is part of the process and having someone who has not only taken classes but can demonstrate the skills would be of benefit to everyone. A union, or if we have to use a euphemism Guild, would be the most appropriate way to do this for sure. But it will take a long time to set this up. 2016-05-13T02:18:41+00:00 Erik Hare
I think 8% is about as low as anyone can go - it's almost what you'd expect entirely by accident. Yes, he's a total fraud. People support him because they are convinced everyone else are total frauds - which honestly I don't get at all. Then again, the Republicans have been saying very wrong things for a long time so perhaps many people are just used to it - or cannot figure out what is true on their own anymore. 2016-05-11T15:08:05+00:00 Erik Hare
In a world where half of the people think Obama and Clinton always lie and the other half think they always tell the truth, it's a bit closer to 50/50. :-) Seriously, they rarely tell outright lies - but Trump most certainly does. It's a big difference. 2016-05-11T13:24:37+00:00 Erik Hare
Well, that would make sense, yes. :-) 2016-05-11T13:23:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! And sorry that the comments section is periodically messed up. I don't understand it, myself. Things seem to mysteriously break and then fix themselves. 2016-05-11T13:22:57+00:00 Erik Hare
That may actually be true. I am thinking about this and the "skills gap". Back at ya later. 2016-05-10T22:48:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Well, yes, if there is indeed a "skills gap". That would be a serious situation all around, but there is evidence that we have a skills gap of about 1.4M people. My gut says that is real which is to say headline U3 unemployment would be about 4.1% today, which is pretty close to full employment. https://erikhare.com/2015/06/05/not-hiring-but-not-firing/ 2016-05-09T15:58:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-05-06T21:42:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen! But it does appear that the electorate isn't doing a good job of thinking sometimes. My faith in it is being tested. 2016-05-06T21:42:22+00:00 Erik Hare
But is anger going to get us anywhere good? Back to Invisible Mikey's comment at the top .... 2016-05-06T15:38:28+00:00 Erik Hare
So what should we be angry at? Everything? I was thinking about the end of Centrism as a political force of any kind, given that in a time like this there's just no space for it. But how do we focus on what we should be legitimately angry at so we can change it? 2016-05-06T15:37:44+00:00 Erik Hare
Jealousy, class resentment, things like that. I can see that to some extent, but we also still revere rich people. A good share of Trump's support is among people who think he's very smart and very capable.
I'll accept that last part for sure - there is more than racism. But class and race often go together in this country, or at least get so mixed up it's hard to tell what's going on. Thanks!
2016-05-06T15:36:26+00:00 Erik Hare
Wow. That's really good. We should have TV ads along those lines - seriously. Just ask people to get ahold of themselves and THINK for a moment. 2016-05-06T15:34:21+00:00 Erik Hare
You raise an excellent point, and I will see if I can figure out how people get to the Xcel Center. I made a huge assumption that the vast majority came in cars and that may not be correct. In my defense I was only looking at the pedestrian traffic, but as we consider them we should know where they are going. 2016-05-05T03:11:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Quick response - we are looking into all of these as a team including a tunnel as I mentioned in this piece. 2016-05-05T02:40:06+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree all around. However, shifting cars to Shepard may be hard for an important reason. This may be more local traffic that wants to be on Seventh. We need to learn a lot more about it, but in principle I agree.
Do we need a streetcar? At $50M per mile it's hard to justify, if you ask me. But I would gladly support an improved bus service, especially West of Randolph where there is no local bus now, and see how that goes.
2016-05-04T21:08:38+00:00 Erik Hare
First point - the chart I have shows 24k cars per day, and that was verified by the City. MnDOT was OK with the 3 lane conversion up to the point where it hit 20k cars per day, which I think was unfortunate. I'm sure it would work all the way.
As for lane width, I do not support a 10' lane anywhere that there are trucks. If we were to go with that, we would have to lose the MN Highway 5 designation - not necessarily a bad thing, but a big thing. It may be necessary.
As for parking - businesses really demand it. Period. I want to get to the heart of this because I see a need for ramps tucked behind and under buildings even with no changes to Seventh - would that be enough? My gut says yes, the businesses say no. It's worth talking about.
As for Shepard, yes. All around. That may want to be Highway 5, for example.
My only problem with your design is that we really do need a very wide sidewalk. I will never support less than 12' anywhere, and around here I tell you 20' would not be ridiculous. The current 13' or so is barely manageable.
2016-05-04T21:06:41+00:00 Erik Hare
I suppose it should! I was thinking about the Xcel crowd, hence the need for cars. They all get in their cars at some point. But a real Pedestrian Paradise would probably just have trains. Not really a nitpick! 2016-05-04T21:00:52+00:00 Erik Hare
It represents the worst in us and offers a question as to how we will adapt to a deeply impersonal world. 2016-05-02T19:14:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. A lot of people have seen all this coming. 2016-05-02T19:13:33+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm more interested in his tactics, which were both new and old. Some of it worked very well, but at a high cost. 2016-04-29T18:28:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Well, my intent was to highlight what appears to be a trend - one that is difficult at best.
Is Sanders "revolutionary"? We will see if he and his followers spark something in the next few years.
2016-04-29T18:27:32+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that's ultimately the lesson. He paid a lot for consultants that he shouldn't have, and actually ran a really high-buck campaign all around. The rallies were just part of the very expensive roll. For comparison - Trump has only spent $50M, Clinton $150M.
I would recommend caution when trying to replicate the Sanders model, for sure. It's not for a real "insurgent".
2016-04-29T15:06:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Isn't it strange? I don't understand how we got here, either. 2016-04-27T20:36:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Far too much, yes. 2016-04-27T20:35:48+00:00 Erik Hare
It is an old problem by now, but thinking about Prince compelled me to write on the source of his strength. 2016-04-27T20:35:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. Fascinating, no? People need to know about the goodness in the world. We hear far too much about anger and sorrow. 2016-04-25T20:00:45+00:00 Erik Hare
You are most welcome. To spread the word of great people like Prince is to spread the peace! 2016-04-25T20:00:07+00:00 Erik Hare
I take it you were not a big fan of his music, too. That's where I was coming from. I liked him a lot as a person.
Van Jones said that we should stop writing about his music and write about him as a person. Out of respect for both men - good, Christian men - I did that.
Prince will be missed for a lot of reasons.
2016-04-25T15:19:04+00:00 Erik Hare
It would help. You may not be a typical voter but people feel they have to be able to related to the President. Would you have a beer with Obama? I sure would, and Clinton, too! And Sanders, for that matter. But I'm a bit weird.
Would I like to have a beer with Cruz or Trump? Fuggedaboudit. Kasich, sure. :-)
2016-04-22T19:43:02+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't know if they can stop him. If they do it may be worse, depending on who they nominated. My dream is a contested convention where Ted Cruz comes out on top. All Hell would break loose. 2016-04-22T19:41:56+00:00 Erik Hare
This was "in the can" when the announcement of his death came. I'm also still not sure what to say. 2016-04-22T02:52:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-04-22T02:51:37+00:00 Erik Hare
Don't be shy to promote your piece - it's good. And an excellent counter to me on the same subject:
Ending superdelegates would be a really easy thing for her to support, for example - so she should. I like what you have here and I know it's from the heart. We need to listen to voices like yours now.
Also, I agree on Warren. Would be bold and very interesting.
2016-04-22T02:51:23+00:00 Erik Hare
They don't want the US Dollar to rise - but it hasn't been rising very fast lately. I also think they should be raising - it brings more money into the economy than anything else right now as Chinese money comes our way.
Keep in mind that the "Chinese Money" is really money that went over there when we lowered rates in the first place. It found the best investment it could - and in 2010 that wasn't here.
2016-04-20T15:37:37+00:00 Erik Hare
It appears to be so. We have to take that into account when we pass any laws, policies, etc. 2016-04-20T15:09:38+00:00 Erik Hare
About 10 years ago. :-)

Seriously, these numbers are ridiculous. For example, Jesus walked the earth less than a million days ago.
A trillion hours ago? Dinosaurs ruled the earth.
In fact, if the earth is really 4.5 billion years old or so, there have been only 1.5 trillion days total on this planet.
2016-04-20T15:06:44+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. The economy is not dynamic enough for it to flow into good investments / jobs / etc. Not yet, anyway. 2016-04-20T15:04:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Wow! Lotta hating going on! :-) Seriously, I think there are a lot of people who see this as you do. I do wonder if we can at least put the brakes on this stuff. 2016-04-18T23:28:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Maybe. At least people are returning to cities! 2016-04-18T23:26:45+00:00 Erik Hare
That is definitely part of the problem. The cost of labor is also probably a problem, too, since construction is very labor dependent. It's worth looking at more closely as to what's really going on if we're all convinced there is a quality issue. 2016-04-18T21:26:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. I do worry about the quality as much as the scale of things. 2016-04-18T13:52:47+00:00 Erik Hare
That has been my main concern all along - quality. Buildings of quality usually find a re-use, unless they are very specific. But without quality we're definitely building the slums of tomorrow today.
2016-04-18T13:45:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, indeed. Resiliency is very important, which we are just not building into our systems. 2016-04-15T19:18:27+00:00 Erik Hare
"In the long run we're all dead." 2016-04-15T15:21:30+00:00 Erik Hare
You would think, right. That is a good point - they are trying to destroy it and it just keeps holding value. It's kind of strange. But a lot of this is "What would you rather hold, Yen or Yuan?" They win that one. 2016-04-15T15:21:13+00:00 Erik Hare
I have to answer that with a link: https://erikhare.com/2015/08/03/growth-is/
There will always be growth, matched to population growth and productivity increases. But some of that growth should probably be taken out as less work. We may well have outgrown the 40 hour work-week - we may need to make 32 the standard.
My solution is to let the length of the workweek be subject to market forces, too. If people can make enough to live in 32 hours they probably will. That's a terrible punt and I know it. But I don't know any other way to make this work.
2016-04-15T15:05:07+00:00 Erik Hare
So where is the place for pieces like this full of an awful lot of detail? What about things like my half-hour long discussions at a taproom? Some of this stuff you really can't push together in less time or fewer words. Some of it I have to refine and maybe can get down to a sound-bite the length of "We'll build a wall!".
You're asking damned good questions. I count on you and other readers to help me answer this and think it all through. Thanks so much for being in on it all!
2016-04-15T15:01:38+00:00 Erik Hare
No, you're not the problem! You're asking a lot of questions and setting yourself up with a good BS detector to evaluate the responses. Yes, energy is not created or destroyed. And all this stuff that litters our lives comes from somewhere. But it all provides jobs to people.
Having the whole economy change over in so many ways is really, really complicated. It really tests this thing called "Democracy". Hell, it tests "Civilization". :-)
2016-04-15T04:22:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Why do we keep doing the same things? Well, aren't things changing enough as it is? It used to be you could depend on stuff to be a certain way - and a lot of people are depending on them. To just say "Screw you guys, I'm going home" and go off into the woods in a tiny house may make sense to people with nothing to lose, but most people have something they'd be giving up. They don't want to give that up.
And if we throw everything out, what about stuff like Social Security and Medicare? Plus the other parts of this system that genuinely keep people alive?
So .... we can't just throw out everything. Or maybe you can, so go for it. But most people can't or just won't for a lot of reasons.
2016-04-15T04:20:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Well, perhaps you don't have to worry about the details. The short version is, "We have a lot to learn from Japan." The long answer, here, is "We can learn some things from them, but we already did some things right."

Let's keep it simple - the challenge to the whole world right now is to reform and modernize society from the ground up. We look at the economic pieces and sometimes the social pieces and see them as different. They aren't.
We also look at the challenges to developed nations and developing nations as different. In some ways they are the same - reform at all levels is absolutely required.
Now, step back a moment and look at the conservative (small "c") movements that are fighting change. They exist all over the world, and for a good reason - people everywhere are waking up in nations they don't recognize. That experience is a little different from one place to the next, but the emotional response is very similar.
Japan is failing for a lot of reasons. We're not thriving for some similar reasons. China? Hard to say just where it's going, but they aren't exactly failing nor are they thriving in the way they'd like.
Is any of this sustainable? Short answer: No. Not a bit. There's just not enough paying work to go around as we all automate and experience productivity increases. No amount of monetary policy will change that, either - and that's the tool of choice. It may help but it won't solve the problems.
Japan shows that failure all over the place. We can learn from that.
2016-04-15T03:50:18+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point. But see the next comment on sustainability. :-) Can they maintain it? 2016-04-15T03:33:06+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen! 2016-04-13T14:15:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen! 2016-04-12T16:28:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, that was the original impetus - and it's still a good idea. I think that 0.2% is not something that will hurt anyone but it will raise a LOT of money. Since we don't seem to want to go back to corporate tax rates of the 1960s (when they were nearly double what they are today!) this would make a good substitute that also has a good side effect. 2016-04-12T16:23:27+00:00 Erik Hare
It doesn't usually explain everything as well as it does other places. It does, however, explain far more than I am comfortable with - and to that extent we should be battling. But the system demands consensus, not warfare. 2016-04-11T14:55:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I do agree, Republicans are frustrated, too. Will it really change with Clinton as President? I both think it has to and then see no reason why it will. Perhaps a Democratic Senate will improve things, but there is still the fillibuster rule. 2016-04-11T14:55:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! (but why the sigh?) 2016-04-11T03:25:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Right under "Thank you for sharing", after the article .... it should work. 2016-04-11T03:24:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Troll. 2016-04-10T03:12:44+00:00 Erik Hare
That would be filed under "other" 2016-04-08T23:27:07+00:00 Erik Hare
That's where I go. I see no reason why corporate taxes need to have more exemptions or credits. 2016-04-08T14:06:21+00:00 Erik Hare
I do think we have a lot in place for that, so I don't see that a complete overhaul or change is necessary. 2016-04-08T14:05:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! I doubt there will be any interesting Americans on the list. There are too many easier ways for us to launder money here. We don't have to resort to international shell companies since we can set them up on our own. Usually it's only really dirty money that goes this route from here, which is to say drugs / sex trade / etc.
2016-04-08T05:07:59+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't see anything happening until we have a change on the Supreme Court. First things first. I picked battles that I think are winnable, even if some are a bit of a stretch. 2016-04-08T04:51:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Investments in infrastructure are far more important than defense unless we are actually at war. We aren't, and we spend far more than anyone else. I think it's completely justified to divert this money back home, yes. 2016-04-08T04:50:34+00:00 Erik Hare
A very good point! Certainly, it's easier today to hide money in some ways - but it's also easier to find it. Do we simply know about it more? I think you may be right. Let me look into how I can quantify this, if I can. 2016-04-06T22:47:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Today? Yes, it's kinda routine. :-) 2016-04-06T22:30:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, well, this is what happens when the whole world becomes very small very quickly. Between culture clashes and new ways to hide assets it's the new world (lack of) order. 2016-04-06T22:30:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Of course. This is just the big playahs. 2016-04-06T17:37:50+00:00 Erik Hare
A world government that has the ability to tighten this up doesn't have to be a dictatorship. But yes, this will continue without a global effort. And it will be ugly. 2016-04-06T17:37:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-04-06T17:36:29+00:00 Erik Hare
This is an international problem, with the US actors not really involved. We won't have the fodder we need for a good discussion on it. But Europe is lighting up over this, especially with a lot of details on Russia. 2016-04-06T17:36:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. It's a "siege mentality" that doesn't do anyone any good. When the flashing lights arrive on the scene everyone - citizens and police alike - fear for their lives. Nothing good can possibly result. 2016-04-04T16:26:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. There are many places the system could go wrong, and the most important is probably training. Are the police getting the training they need in de-escalation techniques? I doubt it. But you raise the point that they may be getting training in exactly the wrong things, which I also fear is a contributor. We can't allow that. We have to insist on better. 2016-04-04T16:20:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Excellent all around. Thank you. 2016-04-04T15:47:13+00:00 Erik Hare
So let's make it something other than a "war zone" ... like maybe a community that is a good place to live in a well functioning city, perhaps? 2016-04-04T15:16:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Your point about non-lethal force is well taken. I don't understand this, either. I have seen people very incapacitated by pepper spray (tasers seem like a bit much to me) so why is it not used more often?
I don't think there is any acceptable reason why Jamar Clark died. There had to be alternatives.
2016-04-04T15:12:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I do believe that our police are, generally, way over-worked and under-paid. That's not an excuse for this but I do think if we want the highest possible standards we have to set things up for that to happen. This includes the best people and the best training, but it also includes proper representation from the community they are policing and support services for the community so that problems don't get out of hand. This is a systemic problem and there is just not going to be one solution that cures it all. 2016-04-04T15:11:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much. I'm trying to turn the (justifiable) outrage into action here, so I hope I've added something to the discussion. 2016-04-04T15:09:02+00:00 Erik Hare
How about Romeo & Juliet - two kids who know each other for about a week leave a trail of death. 2016-04-02T00:53:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I go with America first. Seriously. Trump might be great for our party but I really don't care. 2016-04-02T00:52:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely! 2016-04-01T15:19:00+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't think that younger people are ever going to go for a "Make American Great AGAIN" theme. They want a reboot, not a return. They don't have experience with a nation that ever worked well. 2016-04-01T15:18:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I will look into that. The US Dollar is increasing very rapidly again, which is indeed a problem for everyone. 2016-03-30T22:50:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, pretty much. 2016-03-30T22:50:26+00:00 Erik Hare
It doesn't actually make sense, so not understanding it is a good thing. :-) 2016-03-30T21:19:01+00:00 Erik Hare
I completely agree. I don't think the underlying weakness is a large concern. What they are going by, however, seems to be the lack of inflation - which is largely true. 2016-03-30T21:18:39+00:00 Erik Hare
I am against this much signaling, yes, but Yellen wants a more open Fed. I think this will take my projection for a medium term drop in the 10yr bond, which we should otherwise end soon, to a longer-term drop stable below 2% net yield. It's currently 1.75-1.90% and it looks like it will stay there now. I don't see much upward pressure but we should look for downward pressure as money comes to the US from overseas. 2016-03-30T15:48:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Oh, yes, indeed! Sanders does have a point and it needs to be made much more often. Spending nearly $700B a year on the Department of Defense alone, about $900B with all related State Department and Homeland Security issues, comes to about $7000 per household. That's a ton of money no matter how you look at it. 2016-03-28T21:05:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-03-28T21:04:02+00:00 Erik Hare
That's about it, yes. War is much more expensive than the social programs people fret about, which naturally makes me wonder about the opposition to the social programs - and gets back to the post last week on racism as a major driving force for all political discussion. 2016-03-28T21:03:50+00:00 Erik Hare
That's what you get for being a voice of sanity and reason! :-) Thoughtful people don't get the attention they deserve on the 'net, but there are a lot of readers who don't necessarily speak up. Hang in there! I'm glad you're here and speaking up! 2016-03-25T16:32:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Good question. It seems pretty simple, yes? 2016-03-25T16:31:59+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a lot wrong. I think Paul Ryan's confession gets to the heart of the matter pretty quickly. Of course, I'll want to see him back that up. But at the very least he's recognized that you can't just say "no" to everything indefinitely and not expect a serious backlash. It's more pragmatic than moral. 2016-03-25T15:28:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! That's what I'm here for. :-) 2016-03-25T15:27:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Not so fast - there's still a lot of work to do to fix things. But we do know just what's wrong, and that's something. 2016-03-25T15:26:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-03-24T17:57:32+00:00 Erik Hare
I think it has always been this way but we didn't talk about it like this. There is always a collaborative element in how technology advances, even if it starts as mere copying what someone else did and then improving it. 2016-03-23T19:28:09+00:00 Erik Hare
I am sure that tribalism, which is the root of racism, is common to all people everywhere. But this is the US and we have been living together for generations. We have gotten over our racist fears of Irish, Swedish, Italians, et cetera. Blacks? The system has so much racism built into it. We simply have to get past it one way or the other. 2016-03-23T14:16:18+00:00 Erik Hare
By all means, reblog away, and thank you very much! 2016-03-22T22:57:38+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree that "political correctness" is not a good thing - people have to be able to speak their minds. But we also have to be more respectful in general. That goes both ways, sure, but it's better for everyone when things are out in the open. The Trump rallies, for example, show everyone just who he is and who is backing him - that's better than a bunch of coded language, which is how it was done in the past. 2016-03-21T17:37:54+00:00 Erik Hare
White people don't experience it, so we don't really understand what a poison it is. But it does affect everything - and that is the real problem. We can't talk about a single issue without it getting racist in some way. 2016-03-21T17:36:19+00:00 Erik Hare
For each group, except African-Americans, it does get better gradually. But the deep racism has a poison that affects everyone. 2016-03-21T17:35:28+00:00 Erik Hare
So here we are - which came first, the racism or the nonsense about "those people"? I'm pretty sure the racism came first, but they do reinforce each other. 2016-03-21T13:51:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, it is. But if you think about it this is entirely to be expected. Keep in mind that these rallies have a few thousand people at them, at most. And that Trump is polling less than half of the 24% or so who identify as Republican, which is to say 1 in 8 people overall. And they tend to be older.
I do feel that this kind of backlash is understandable and needs to be confronted calmly and rationally. We know that his supporters are being fed a series of lies that they believe because they want to. That such a small number of people believe them is actually heartening, given the discourse we have in this nation.
But we have to confront this calmly and reasonably. They are not people who are going to simply go away.
2016-03-21T03:27:00+00:00 Erik Hare
You have an excellent point and have a very good leading indicator. I hope the blip downward at the end is reversed.
You are right, we have not hit our stride yet. I'll accept this as a measure of when we are ready to enter a period of expansion. Excellent find!
2016-03-21T02:21:29+00:00 Erik Hare
And as long as there is more demand for US Dollars out there we will have a deficit. It goes up with increased global trade, which is probably part of the reason that free trade has always been presumed to be good for the US - we've always like having a strong greenback. But I happen to think that we would probably benefit more by having a weak currency, assuming energy independence, because it would keep our good competitive. Every other nation thinks this is true, why don't we? So we may not always have a trade deficit if China gets its way and the Dollar isn't the global reserve currency for 85% of all transactions anymore.
Why on earth China supports this, however, is something I'll never quite understand. They play the currency war as well as anyone else - except when they are playing the global superpower game.
2016-03-19T03:38:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Probably not. Look at how we're still arguing over NAFTA 25 years after it was passed. There isn't a good way to measure the effects of these trade deals that is universally accepted.
Personally, I like the methodology of the IIE, which matches the number of jobs related to export / import before the treaty was passed and then looks at how trade expanded. In the case of Mexico, our net imports from Mexico expanded slightly after NAFTA and our exports expanded a lot more - meaning we had a net gain. But, then again, Mexico tends to export lower value goods to us and I'm not entirely sure how it was all taken into account.
Bottom line - these will always be up for interpretation one way or the other. What I am sure of is that the standard analysis, based on "We lost a lot of manufacturing jobs in the 2000s" is not valid. Many other things were happening that are summed up as "productivity increases". That seems to be the real issue we have yet to grapple with - not trade.
2016-03-18T16:38:38+00:00 Erik Hare
That is pretty much what I'm thinking. I would have to re-read TPP to see how it stacks up in this view, but offhand it seems like a pretty standard open agreement without a lot of calls for worker advancement et cetera.
No matter what nothing is going anywhere for a while, though, so it's a totally academic question IMHO.
2016-03-18T15:27:49+00:00 Erik Hare
For the first question, it depends on what you mean by anti-American, but my guess is that in the biggest sense there aren't that many. Politicians want to create jobs in their district first and foremost. Raising money? It's important, but they do want to create jobs.
As for the second part it really depends on what you think is improper. Transparency is the key to everything - keeping an eye on everything that is done. The internet age lets us do that much better but there is a ton of garbage out there clogging the information stream.
2016-03-18T15:03:50+00:00 Erik Hare
But it's probably not the most important thing that has gone wrong lately. No new trade deals plus an increased focus on what we know is wrong would be good. 2016-03-18T03:01:47+00:00 Erik Hare
That's true - extended supply chains have changed the mix. That could be blamed on trade agreements. But it also is an effect that will at least slow in the future as it also worked its way through the system. 2016-03-18T02:04:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Ranked Choice Voting would be a good addition, actually. Something to think about, yes. 2016-03-17T16:48:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Wow, that got long ... you hit something I have no good ideas about but feel is very important. 2016-03-16T21:24:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Little was said about any anti-Mormon backlash in 2012, but I have trouble believing it wasn't an issue. I do wonder how many evangelicals left the top spot on the ballot blank. Since there is drop-off below that where people don't vote it doesn't look like any, but I agree that had to be an issue for some.
The "Big Tent" parties are based on an idea that appears to be antique at this point - which is difficult. Our whole system is based on the idea that our politics can be compressed into two parties. A strong president form of government simply does not allow for a large number of parties - but that does seem to be where we are going. Things are fractured in politics as they are everywhere.
I honestly don't know the answer but I do agree - the "party within a party" tendency is at least going to be a serious change.
Centrist or even Rockefeller Republicans? Well, I don't know where you can go today. Rubio never seemed to have a chance - but I would have bet that in November he would play well. That's really pathetic. Sanders? One solid round of red-baiting and he would fold up quickly in a system that requires 50%.
I really don't know about the long term for politics. What I do know is that taking things in 2016 sets up the 2020 redistricting and if I'm right at all, even a little, about things starting to move forward whoever is in power from this election will get a lot of credit and be in power for a long time. Thanks to Trump the Democrats should have a great claim to power - I swear he even puts the House into play. It's huge.
2016-03-16T21:23:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! Context is everything today - very few outlets make a point of finding it and I do believe that is what is most important today. "I don't break news, I fix it!" :-) 2016-03-16T20:40:27+00:00 Erik Hare
He's a good guy, just what I would think anyone would want in government regardless of whether you agree with him or not. 2016-03-16T20:16:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-03-16T18:10:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, if it sounds too (stupid, ridiculous, bad, crazy) to be true it probably is. Caveat Lector, let the reader beware. Common sense still works - if only most of the writers out there had some! 2016-03-16T15:48:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Nothing good can come of this. 2016-03-16T15:47:37+00:00 Erik Hare
It is about the nation at some point, yes. 2016-03-14T04:16:19+00:00 Erik Hare
I have to watch all of her show - I've only seen some - and I do agree. Every smart, concerned person has to be committed to turning down the noise at this point. Cold, hard facts and a quiet objectivity are indeed the way to go. Maddow has shown this, Kelly showed this, and I think a few others will as well.
Time for the adults to step up. We will see what, if anything, Republicans have to offer this process.
The disrespect for Obama is another thing. I would like to see some hardcore focus group work on this. It can't be playing well, can it? If it is, why is it?
2016-03-14T03:22:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I do feel this can only get worse at this point. Last week I thought the media, through Megyn Kelly's hard work, had found a way to deal with the guy. Then he found a way to amp it all up. Not good. 2016-03-14T03:20:16+00:00 Erik Hare
It's worth noting that at the end of the 1968 campaign, and I think 1968 can be taken almost as one single event in many horrible ways, the population wound up voting for the most establishment candidate running. All the noise eventually pointed us to Nixon, of all people.
Can Clinton seize the situation the way he did, promising law and order? I doubt it, but that may be the direction she turns once she secures the nomination - which is to say if the polls next Tuesday are right and she winds up dominating the large states and swing states that are up for grabs.
Then again, this is all getting so crazy it's really hard to tell what will happen. Is there any genuine establishment leadership? Is law and order a viable platform in all this? It's only likely to get crazier. We know that the conventions, both of them, have the potential to be real carnivals - possibly carnivals of violence. I do not in any way blame Sanders but there is a heavy "smash the system" contingent that is supporting him. They will not go quietly into the night.
2016-03-14T03:18:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Next Tuesday we'll know for sure. If the polls are at all right (and I'm really not sure right now) it will be a huge sweep for Clinton. The gap will go from 200 to 450+. 2016-03-11T17:36:11+00:00 Erik Hare
The Republican Party may actually be your best friend, then. :-) 2016-03-11T16:55:02+00:00 Erik Hare
I've written about a lot of that before! It is a critical part of our world - not understanding half of what's going on around us. It's why people get so angry all the time, IMHO. 2016-03-11T16:54:42+00:00 Erik Hare
It's all good - I ramble a bit too, ya know. :-)
The Two Party System is really strange, if you think about it at all. A national "primary" would make a lot of sense. But this all involves some major changes in the Constitution that most sane people don't want to get into right now.
How do we get good people into office? It's hard. They have to care about the party enough to move it in their direction, and that's a terribly "corrupting" process no matter what. It changes people - mostly making them a lot more cynical. Then again, real political skill is a good thing, IMHO, and teaching that can only improve the process.
There is a lot to think about. Our strong executive bothers me at the core, for one, and I would love to have a "cabinet government" as I outlined some time ago with a broad array of elected executives. That would be more interesting and more open.
A lot to think about here.
2016-03-11T03:58:50+00:00 Erik Hare
You have a good point - there may be more problems. The short answer is that we can't really trust the polls.
What we do know is that they have consistently under-estimated Sanders' support. Are they hitting up cell phones and/or reaching young people and traditional non-voters adequately? What models are being used to estimate likely voters? Are they asking people if they plan to vote, for example?
You are right, there are probably other problems deep in these polls. The fact that the results among self-identified Democrats was about right from the poll-of-polls in Michigan tells me that the main bias came from the open primary. But it would be crazy to say that this is the only effect, yes.
2016-03-11T03:53:55+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. That's what transit projects are all about anymore - not actually moving people but "spurring development". That sounds great if you're the rider but tough if you're the horse. And we're the horse.
Existing neighborhoods were built the way they were for a reason, and the strongest ones have a good visual appeal. They may be off a little in the best density possible, but the passage of time has proven them to be the most viable generally. It's what works.
2016-03-10T17:32:27+00:00 Erik Hare
I am afraid we don't regulate the right things in the right way. Urban farming is really hard under current zoning - why? Why is mixed use so hard to put in? Granted, no one wants a factory plopped down next to them - or a huge sports bar. But aside from those uses, aren't there a lot of things like a dentist's office that would be OK?
New buildings are all pretty green, so that is a trend for sure. I feel that this trend will only continue. But attached space is always greener in many ways, and density encourages transit. It's a question of the right density for stability in my opinion.
2016-03-10T16:39:48+00:00 Erik Hare
That is my main concern, yes. They are applying formula development to a changing landscape and it may not be best. I could be very wrong, but I think it's worth thinking through and talking about. 2016-03-10T16:36:38+00:00 Erik Hare
You're right - there has to be some need for these units. I see a lot of young Millenials in them and I fear that they will "outgrow" such units, but there are older people in them, too. It may work.
No one is building condos now - the burn from 2008 is still hot. Some of these can convert if the market comes back, and many are being built so that this is reasonable. We will see.
It's not that I think these units do not belong here, it's a question of scale. There are so many going in! I hope we're not over-doing it. And I think that flexible space is going to serve us a lot better, is all.
2016-03-10T16:35:44+00:00 Erik Hare
It has in recent years, for sure. But we are seeing a lot of market-rate unsubsidized development going in to both cities lately, which is to say that they aren't extracting money from the system. That heartens me greatly.
I think there is a need for a good zoning code, but I don't think we have it yet. When we got TN zoning along Seventh, legalizing the standard build of the last 150 years, I was greatly heartened and there seems to be good movement to the right things for the street. But ... the scale! Jeez. So much of it is so big. That's not good. But the era of big subsidy is mainly over and the less we look to large office towers the better IMHO.
2016-03-09T15:51:29+00:00 Erik Hare
We're the same age, so we'll see what we make it to see. :-) I do think that buildings ultimately reflect the values of a society, so as our values and arrangements change we will see changes. I'm just trying to predict what they might look like, and my conclusion is that there are a lot of buildings that will be functionally obsolete if we keep changing as rapidly as we are. 2016-03-09T15:48:23+00:00 Erik Hare
It doesn't necessarily regulate what is important in terms of noxious uses near residents, etc. 2016-03-09T15:46:37+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. I haven't done anything partially baked or philosophical in a while, but this has been on my mind. At the Fort Road Federation we've had a lot of minor zoning variances for apartments come through and after a time I had to ask myself, "Is this really what the city is going to look like? Or should look like?" And it dawned on me that no, it probably won't and no, it probably shouldn't. 2016-03-09T04:27:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! But this was an easy one to make, I think.
Why is the headline U-3 unemployment not dropping? It's usually because more workers are coming into the labor force, which is to say that the fudge is pretty thick.
U-6, the only unemployment that is consistent and reasonable IMHO, dropped to 9.7% as I predicted. But again that was easy once you have a +230k or so gain for the month.
2016-03-04T19:24:12+00:00 Erik Hare
That is the key. I do expect the coming worker shortage to help. 2016-03-04T18:41:18+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm an American - that appears to be a job for foreigners. 2016-03-04T06:13:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Good plan! 2016-03-04T04:03:09+00:00 Erik Hare
“Nixon had the unique ability to make his enemies seem honorable, and we developed a keen sense of fraternity. Some of my best friends have hated Nixon all their lives. My mother hates Nixon, my son hates Nixon, I hate Nixon, and this hatred has brought us together.”
HST, 1994
2016-03-04T03:22:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Probably. Just wait until these kids are older - either they change their tune or this nation is goin' socialist. :-)
2016-03-03T17:41:17+00:00 Erik Hare
I think a lot of people will agree with you on that. Republicans included. 2016-03-03T17:40:46+00:00 Erik Hare
Sanders seems tired. He is experienced and he knows where this is going. He'll keep fighting but we can expect this to be more focused on defeating Trump and the issues he cares about. Clinton will do that, too.
It is essentially over, yes, but it will be up to Michigan and Ohio to really seal it.
2016-03-03T17:40:25+00:00 Erik Hare
The Republicans need to pull this together one way or the other. Cruz is worse for them than Trump if you ask me. 2016-03-03T17:39:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Sorry for the comment delays - I see things were broken yesterday. It's fixed now. If you tried to post and were frustrated please let me know. 2016-03-03T17:38:16+00:00 Erik Hare
A lot of Republicans are more comfortable with Clinton than they let on. Wall Street sure is. I do think that Trump cannot get more than about 40% absolute top in a general election, probably more like 25%. 2016-03-02T15:02:27+00:00 Erik Hare
It's pretty funny, isn't it? But he's doing a good job of showing them what real leadership, at least intellectual / moral leadership, is all about. If only they had some appreciation for Clinton's abilities ... 2016-03-02T06:09:55+00:00 Erik Hare
Sanders is a good guy. He knew what he was up against all along and is making his point as clearly as he can. He'll take what he can get and then stand very strong against the Republicans, who he knows are the real problem. I don't see any reason why the leaders of the party can't come together.
The rank and file? It may not be so easy, but Bernie will lead the way.
2016-03-02T06:09:01+00:00 Erik Hare
It is! The inside game is very much on as they work to bring it together. But apparently not quite yet! 2016-03-02T06:07:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Warren is interesting - I would love to have a coffee with her.
Kieth Ellison, Minneapolis Rep, endorsed Sanders. Franken endorsed Clinton. I think the rest sat it out.
2016-03-02T06:07:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, indeed! 2016-03-01T17:38:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Sorry, I don't speak Italian! 2016-03-01T17:38:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-02-27T00:24:43+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree, but let's see how the establishment responds 2016-02-27T00:24:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Excellent! This is a must-watch (warning - lots of bad language, but it has to be done that way!) 2016-02-26T17:06:09+00:00 Erik Hare
I guess I did a bad job. This is a setup for what I do expect to come, which is an all-out assault on Trump. He has to scare the market movers before the resources to perform the operation will come in. That may be happening.
Yes, I agree that it's late in coming.
2016-02-26T16:50:45+00:00 Erik Hare
As long as it's with other people's money, yes. 2016-02-26T16:22:05+00:00 Erik Hare
The question is how long this pause continues for - and how big of a correction does is cause. Two questions, really. 2016-02-26T16:21:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Good link. This lines up with what I saw at Davos, which is that the highest level leadership is consistently calling for fairly radical change. 2016-02-26T16:19:57+00:00 Erik Hare
His businesses went bankrupt four times. They are all independent operations, and he has many, so his side can claim they were inconsequential. I think it's very important. 2016-02-26T03:32:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Well, sorry about that. I think the next one will be more to your liking - a busy life made me have to take a bit of a pause as I evaluate the array of progressive proposals and reactions to them - which I plan to work on over the weekend.
Super Tuesday is really the name of the game right now.
2016-02-26T03:31:54+00:00 Erik Hare
As for Trump spooking the markets, there are finally today a few decent articles on that. I may take on that topic. 2016-02-25T15:13:40+00:00 Erik Hare
I'll let this ramble stand on its own. Thanks for it! 2016-02-24T23:40:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Um, who or what are you talking about? 2016-02-24T21:48:37+00:00 Erik Hare
That is the real reason, yes. 2016-02-24T19:08:10+00:00 Erik Hare
That is very true. 2016-02-24T18:44:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, that's what I'm saying. And I expect spending on other things to indeed come around this year, as we've already seen over the holidays and in January. 2016-02-24T18:43:44+00:00 Erik Hare
North Dakota has gone completely bust, too. It's not as bad in Texas and Oklahoma, since everything is more automated, but they are losing revenue. I think Alaska is really in trouble as well. 2016-02-24T18:43:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-02-22T19:02:58+00:00 Erik Hare
My pleasure! 2016-02-22T19:02:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Yup. But I don't see them reversing themselves on a 4-4. 2016-02-22T18:35:46+00:00 Erik Hare
That would complicate an already difficult situation, but I expect this might happen. I do think Apple is doing what they should be doing as a corporation, at least at this stage, but how far this should go is another question. Apple does have a responsibility to their shareholders, after all. 2016-02-22T17:06:18+00:00 Erik Hare
I have mixed thoughts as well, but generally side with Apple. Overall, I think it is utterly fascinating and decided to write a piece that helped people understand the basics of this complicated case.
2016-02-22T17:05:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Two very good questions, more like it!
Since all intellectual property is described and created by law, I see no reason why it can't be subject to eminent domain like anything else - which is to say along with "just compensation". I do not think that once assigned by the US Government (acting as the USPTO) it can be simply revoked. I will try to look for examples.
As for obstruction of justice, I believe that would be the charge if they fail to comply, yes. There may be something more elaborate for corporations, however.
2016-02-22T17:04:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Ha! 2016-02-21T22:25:33+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm so Gen-X I think everything will be better as soon as Boomers retire.

Seriously, I do. I mean it. :-)
2016-02-20T23:07:15+00:00 Erik Hare
What do we need a Federal Government for? I would say primarily for infrastructure, which we are way behind in. The system we have now short-changes it in so many ways, so I would say that this is a critical reform all around.
The dividing line between what should be public and private could sort itself out a lot better if we understand the role and funding of infrastructure, if you ask me - along with some honest talk about what we spend on Defense.
2016-02-20T23:06:24+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point. There is more interest in things like venture capital, too. All around I see investors going more with Warren Buffet's advice - invest in things you can see.
But there are also investments in lifestyle more than just money. Resiliency is a good watchword all around.
2016-02-20T16:40:15+00:00 Erik Hare
All in all, there's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what is right with America.
And the stock market isn't as important to the economy as people say, or even a reliable gauge of it. But it is important to investors, which is to say it winds up being important in the long run. So much of this is image and attitude.
The deficit is both important and not important. Until we separate capital expenditures from ordinary expenses we'll never know how we really stand.
How's that?
2016-02-20T00:04:30+00:00 Erik Hare
So, you still haven't figured out that a Gen-Xer figures that everything gets better the year the Boomers retire, right? 'Cuz the easiest charge you can level is that I'm just a hater. :-) 2016-02-19T23:28:01+00:00 Erik Hare
We're not that hard to get going, really. It's a question of what and why. 2016-02-19T21:16:26+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, absolutely. That's where the populism comes in, a totally apolitical political movement. A lot of Sanders' supporters are actually former Ron Paul supporters who just want to smash "the system".
That's why I stressed getting involved, or at least speaking up, on very apolitical themes. Insisting that we do things well, with an emphasis on outcomes, would be more our style as a generation. Martin O'Malley should have caught on more, but didn't.
2016-02-19T18:10:18+00:00 Erik Hare
China may need to take a pause, but the march towards being a superpower is real. The Yuan should indeed be a reserve currency - but that means they need to give up their desire for complete control over it. They aren't going anywhere with this until they understand they can't have it both ways.
But today's growth is still impressive no matter what. What has changed is only the perception of China. It was over-bought and everything got crazy, yes. It still has a primitive banking system and lacks a lot of key infrastructure. But they will get there.
2016-02-19T00:30:17+00:00 Erik Hare
It does work out in the long run. It is a casino in the short run, for sure. 2016-02-17T21:39:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Sure, let's go with that. :-) Seriously, it's become very hard to tell when effects are global and ripple through the domestic economy and when they are isolated.
My best guess is that anything extra-national that really spooks the markets - currency valuations, foreign exchanges, etc. - has a longer term effect on us but little to nothing short term. Then again, if foreigners are buying long-term treasuries like mad our rates go down and there is an immediate effect. So it's really hard to tell.
What I see coming off the China meltdown is really nothing but positive - unless the USD really gains value. But even that is probably a longer-term problem much more than a short one. And we have so few employed in manufacturing that the effects there aren't going to be large.
2016-02-17T21:35:23+00:00 Erik Hare
This piece is not about my candidate or yours, per se, but about the struggle in the party right now. I think it's a real and important struggle which is long over-due.
Most importantly, whoever wins the nomination has to be in a position where we unite and can march boldly forward towards actually getting something done. And yes, we have to stand for something important first - which is why we are having this struggle.
I see both candidates as having flaws, which is only reasonable. We're human. The experiences they both have are important and inform the progressive movement in different ways.
This letter is more to the supporters of each candidate, addressing the need for unity and a clear platform when this is all over. Clinton supporters often don't "get" what Sanders' people are all about, and Sanders supporters often don't "get" the need for experience in the consensus based system we have.
We have to understand each other and be very clear. That will probably come from leadership as we close ranks going into the general, but you and I both know that the Democratic Party has always relied on grass-roots leadership if it's going to stand for anything. And that has to be listened to as well.
I'm much more worried about the process for us coming together with a solid agenda that moves us all forward than I am with the result at this stage. I wanted to outline the arguments we're having so that we can move them all forward in constructive ways.
Right now, the fight is a good one. It's long, long over-due. If we can keep it productive and respectful we'll not only win but actually start moving forward.
2016-02-17T18:20:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! I'll stay on it. Looking good so far. As long as it doesn't actually fall apart between now and the end of the year I think we'll be fine. 2016-02-17T17:13:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Good luck to you, I'll check you out! 2016-02-17T16:10:00+00:00 Erik Hare
If the S&P500 breaks the support, that will be a storm. But it has really met strong resistance. That tells me that the market is pausing, not contracting.
It will take news to change this. Probably big news. There's always a chance of that - look at the mess Syria is becoming, after all. But things really aren't that bad.
2016-02-17T03:56:12+00:00 Erik Hare
That's where I'm at. 2016-02-17T03:54:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Any engineer will tell you the glass is twice its optimal size!
Don't sit there breathing through your mouth and catching flies - get up and dance!
2016-02-17T03:54:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-02-16T18:18:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-02-16T18:17:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-02-16T18:17:40+00:00 Erik Hare
I may just. I've been on the board of the local district council for many years. 2016-02-15T17:50:46+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. :-) 2016-02-15T17:50:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Elections have to matter a lot more than they do, I think. I don't see any other way. 2016-02-15T17:49:55+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, that is true. But I fear that the laziness is compounding the problem. A bias to action would at least break the jamup.
But those in charge, at least here in the US, are very far out of touch and do not care.
2016-02-15T01:04:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-02-12T18:57:19+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that is the main reason for all this talk, yes. It's a way that otherwise disgruntled and unruly people can be kept in line.
The only reasonable alternative is empowerment. That's what we need in our politics.
2016-02-12T18:57:03+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-02-10T17:17:42+00:00 Erik Hare
It was an interesting time and place to grow up, yes? 2016-02-10T17:17:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Very much so. 2016-02-08T19:14:15+00:00 Erik Hare
I might very well. If it doesn't end up a bit we will have breached the 1858 low on the S&P500. That's not good at all. The next support is 1814, from two years ago. 2016-02-08T19:14:03+00:00 Erik Hare
That is exactly how I feel. But part of the problem is that stock prices got ahead of themselves. It's all in the PE, and when P goes up there's trouble. 2016-02-08T17:42:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Ha! Well, my pick lost (I really like Cam Newton) so I guess not. :-) 2016-02-08T03:31:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Still trying, eh? 2016-02-07T20:52:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! 2016-02-07T20:51:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much. :-) 2016-02-05T18:50:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-02-05T18:43:38+00:00 Erik Hare
But it creates jobs! :-) 2016-02-05T18:00:26+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. Maybe we do need more fairy tales. :-) 2016-02-05T16:09:40+00:00 Erik Hare
I am starting to think that way. There was a time when I thought Rubio really was allright, but we have to look at what he has to say to get through the Republican primaries. It's not at all good. 2016-02-03T21:04:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Almost, but not quite, as funny as the guy who came in second whining that Cruz cheated somehow.
They are all losers. Seriously.
2016-02-03T21:03:47+00:00 Erik Hare
He's been groomed for this for his whole life. It's been interesting. 2016-02-03T16:13:47+00:00 Erik Hare
Yeah, that guy. We all have to stop saying his name! 2016-02-03T16:13:11+00:00 Erik Hare
I try to be relatively impartial, though everyone knows my bias and can read my schtick accordingly. 2016-02-03T16:12:48+00:00 Erik Hare
No. 2016-02-03T02:44:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Probably is about right, yes. Coin flips all around! 2016-02-02T20:14:09+00:00 Erik Hare
The debate continues! Seriously, it's all good at this point. 2016-02-02T20:10:28+00:00 Erik Hare
There are problem people everywhere. I do not think that the "Bernie Bros" and other intolerant people are anything but a tiny minority, but they sure are vocal. I'm really sick of them, too, and I don't consider their talk personally all that insulting or threatening. White people of privilege do bother me, however. We have a few like that on the Clinton side but they have a tendency to be much more quiet.
We'll work this out. I do believe that all the Sanders people have a good point.
2016-02-01T20:34:38+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! And I totally, 100% agree with you!
I came into this thinking, "Eh, it's Clinton's". I am now looking to see how we have a dramatically improved Clinton for the challenge. That's a big win.
The leadership and the push we need from the Sanders wing is not something that necessarily has to be in charge to be effective - but it has to stay engaged! It's a lot like FDR to me all around. The Progressives made him a better President - and they never, ever let up. That's what we need, IMHO.
2016-02-01T04:53:03+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm also not a lot of fun at parties. Video coming soon, too. :-) 2016-02-01T04:50:33+00:00 Erik Hare
It was weird. Consumer spending is stronger than I thought, but industrial output really sank. A lot of that is oil production dropping to zip, but the strong dollar is not a good thing. 2016-01-30T02:41:25+00:00 Erik Hare
That's allright, I'll come up with something else. :-) 2016-01-29T20:57:25+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope it doesn't come to that (or look like that). 2016-01-29T18:08:15+00:00 Erik Hare
I think you'll be happy with the result. But we never know until it happens. 2016-01-29T16:41:54+00:00 Erik Hare
It is the young people's world, and I am sure they will make a good one when they get a chance. As for the last statement, well, I think this is about a lot more than just who we elect at the top - I still want a good manager first and foremost. 2016-01-29T16:41:26+00:00 Erik Hare
It is strange. I admit it. Now that I'm used to the caucus system I like it because it encourages activism, not just voting. But yeah, it isn't very open at all. 2016-01-29T16:40:16+00:00 Erik Hare
And that's what it means to be a real "progressive"! 2016-01-29T16:39:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Not happening, sorry. :-) 2016-01-28T18:11:09+00:00 Erik Hare
That is indeed why we love you. :-) 2016-01-27T21:40:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Equities markets are kind of like petulant teens - if the Fed Chair doesn't give them enough attention they whine. Yellen doesn't care about them and they know it. Should she care more? My money is still on "no", but I can see where you'd have a different opinion.
The out of sync nature of the whole world is indeed a problem. The developing world is also out of sync right now with a wide variety of different issues plaguing each of the BRICS. Nothing really makes sense. So there is indeed risk as money moves around so freely.
There is little doubt in my mind that large-cap companies are going to feel some pain from China, yes. But what does that do to the rest of the US economy? Given that small and medium companies have been the drivers of growth since 2008 and the influx of a lot of new venture capital I'm frankly not all that concerned. I do see turnover, yes, but in terms of what benefits the US and its population I just don't see a lot of risk. When money comes back from China it will probably flow into a wide variety of things including safe real estate and maybe some more venture capital so what really is the downside?
Will China have a hard landing? Soros thinks so. I'm more worried about the resulting political turmoil from that than anything economic.
2016-01-27T21:04:36+00:00 Erik Hare
That would probably be best, yes. But it's hard to ignore a big downturn (which this isn't yet) and a change in momentum (which this isn't really yet either). What was my point? :-) 2016-01-27T18:29:34+00:00 Erik Hare
I'd like to go back to the most recent Davos World Economic Forum, which I wrote about last week. The leaders of the world clearly "get it". They know that what we have is not sustainable and isn't going to carry us into the next wave - what they call the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
So where is it all really going? They didn't have that many answers, frankly. A lot of good questions but that was all.
What struck me is that they are trying. I don't know how much that counts but it was heartening to know.
2016-01-27T16:02:05+00:00 Erik Hare
I feel obliged to learn more about China, but to be honest I've only recently run into people writing about how things really work there. It's utterly fascinating - it feels pre-industrial almost. It is worth putting that one together.
How they got as far as they did with essentially no financial infrastructure is rather amazing. But it is all centrally planned, so the money follows the edicts.
2016-01-27T15:59:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, housing followed the bubble. There was a small retrenchment but the real bubble came 2004-2007.
As for the World Economy ... you are right. 100%. There are walls between countries, but they are thin. People don't cross them easily but money and materials do. Supply chains don't change overnight, but they do move.
I do not know exactly how to take into account the world economy versus ours. We are clearly doing much, much better than Japan and Europe for the Developed World prize, but the Developing World comes and goes. Mexico is doing well in part because we are, in part because the rest of the hemisphere is.
So it's perfectly valid to say, "You haven't taken into account global transfers" or some such and you'll have a point. This is an issue that my read says even the Fed doesn't know what to do about.
So yes, let's talk about that.
2016-01-27T04:05:47+00:00 Erik Hare
OK, fair enough.
But notice that we've reached the point where something is the "biggest since 2000" and not 2006? It's now the benchmark.
2016-01-27T03:40:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Manufacturing is still a problem and will be as long as the Dollar is this strong - I will feed my troll this one. That's a potentially big problem. But it's such a small part of our economy now it matters much less than before. Where it hurts is in opportunity for young people that pays decent. 2016-01-27T01:36:19+00:00 Erik Hare
I think it's good to have your own troll. It means you've gotten somewhere.
We'll see if the Fed raises again this month, but I think there will be a pause. As for Yellen, well, I still believe her over you. So there.
Oh, and those declining labor force participation rates? That's the secret, man, the real secret. They really area good thing. :-)
2016-01-27T01:34:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! And that is what is (slowly) happening (way too slowly, but yeah). It's why I see things coming back by the end of the year. 2016-01-27T01:05:47+00:00 Erik Hare
That's probably what will happen. 2016-01-26T18:07:17+00:00 Erik Hare
It might be in some ways. But at least they would know who is in charge to complain to.
They would also know up front more information that people care about - stops, schedules, etc.
I imagine such an agency being more gradual about improvements - installing a bus line first and then as it grows in popularity proposing an upgrade. That would almost certainly be more popular than what is done now.
2016-01-25T19:58:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Our system for creating transit here is indeed profoundly broken. It has to be the reason why a streetcar is listed at $50M per mile when everywhere else it has been installed at $25M per mile. And the Green Line at $100M per mile is inexcusable. 2016-01-25T19:56:14+00:00 Erik Hare
It's all so terribly frustrating. Redesigning a city takes a much bigger effort than this - it's a commitment that has to stretch far beyond one project. Ultimately, when we talk redevelopment, it's about what kind of redevelopment and where. Big box apartments all along Seventh? No, I don't think so.
To talk about redevelopment without a clear vision is suicide for a city, in my opinion.
2016-01-25T18:08:07+00:00 Erik Hare
That is one problem, but I think the main problems are the cost of what we put in (usually double what they would be anywhere else) and the time it takes to get anything in place. Both of these are related to the ad hoc nature of the system we use for development.
However, part of me doesn't want to speed anything up at all because bad decisions will be made. An agency that can make longer term decisions is needed first and foremost to me.
2016-01-25T18:06:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! I didn't get into the cronyism which has been a feature because I want to fix the problem more than anything. I want accountability first and foremost. That will solve everything. 2016-01-25T16:43:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks, Kent. You've been on top of this all the way and you know what's going on. It's getting more than a little crazy.
My point is that we can't just say "We need a project here" and put something down that will work effectively. We need a long-term commitment and accountability all the way through. The system we have just isn't designed for that. We have to get there somehow.
2016-01-25T16:42:29+00:00 Erik Hare
2016-01-24T19:56:18+00:00 Erik Hare
It's OK, we still have a system where nothing can possibly get done - unless it's obvious. Really obvious. :-) 2016-01-22T17:47:20+00:00 Erik Hare
Two possibilities. One is that the problems are really hard, the other is that it will take a new generation that is not tied to the old to make progress by just throwing everything to the wind.
I say it's a little of both. I don't want to throw everything out - but I think we'll wind up throwing out a lot. Maybe even some good stuff, but it's up to us older people to guide the process - probably not lead it, though.
It's one of the things to watch as Clinton's full team comes into play and/or her opponent. Rubio is still very interesting when you think about things this way.
2016-01-22T17:46:53+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely! It would be a great gig. 2016-01-22T17:40:37+00:00 Erik Hare
That would be a stretch, but maybe some. This movement has been rolling through Europe - and the election of Ed Miliband as UK Labour leader was probably more of a watershed event.
But that this movement, now quite global, resonated through the US with Sanders' followers is probably important, yes. I have to give him some credit.
However, the threat of nativist reactionaries like Trump (or le Pen and Farage) is also causing the mainstream liberal left to take notice as well. The finance people clearly fear that as much as any other disaster.
2016-01-22T17:03:48+00:00 Erik Hare
No, I see that. I see us picking up while the emerging markets slow (but don't stop) their convergence. Globally there is a lot of good reason for concern. 2016-01-22T16:02:41+00:00 Erik Hare
I think you're being hyperbolic. :-)
2016-01-22T00:05:36+00:00 Erik Hare
It's good if it builds capacity we need, it's horrific if it builds capacity we don't need. 2016-01-21T17:04:14+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point - I have heard that a lot. I also believe that sports teams are great places to launder money - huge cash flow in actual cash, paper losses all over, etc. 2016-01-21T00:56:57+00:00 Erik Hare
A very, very good point. The idea that guns are the solution to everything I think only highlights how totally irresponsible and irrational we've become. I would think that a focus on safety and knowing what you are doing would calm this weird culture down some, but I may be wrong. It's strange at best, but really dangerous. 2016-01-21T00:43:02+00:00 Erik Hare
I plead the fifth amendment. :-) 2016-01-20T23:42:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, this just seems like way too much all around. 2016-01-20T23:41:40+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm not much into that. It is interesting, but I think other people have that nailed down way better than I ever could. 2016-01-20T19:59:56+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, they are. 2016-01-20T17:49:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! It was the most important thing I found with this tool. Also, Arizona could go blue with the same voting pattern. That would be a big deal as well. 2016-01-20T17:07:22+00:00 Erik Hare
That's what I feel, too - that they aren't proposing anything grounded in reality and are only whipping people up based on emotional issues. As much as I criticize Sanders, for example, I at least acknowledge the reality of what he's talking about.
The Democrats have a solid corner on "real" issues this year, for better or worse, and I do think that the middle class people with a sense of reality will acknowledge that in time.
2016-01-20T16:23:58+00:00 Erik Hare
The velocity of money is starting to turn around. That's one very good sign. 2016-01-20T04:26:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Actually, WWII did not end the Depression - GDP had returned to 1928 levels by 1938. :-)
But yes, the space for "conservatism" has been limited because the world has been changing rapidly. When that pace accelerated it increased the demand for leaders that would somehow slow the pace - something no one could possibly deliver on. They tried neo-conservatism and then a very based angry .... I don't know what this is right now, to be honest.
Libertarianism is a kind of progressivism in that it describes how progress is made. It's not about keeping things the same at all. So as that has taken over the minds of young otherwise "conservatives" there is no place for a whole lot of what's going on.
2016-01-20T03:53:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. But stay tuned for the 2017 that follows all the weirdness that will come this year. :-) 2016-01-20T03:50:45+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. I was thinking of writing on this, but I honestly have no insight as to how it's happened.
There is a need to pull the Democratic Party to something like a progressive position. I have a feeling that you and I would agree on about half to 2/3 of what that means, but the point is that someone has to stand for progress in this country. We have to move forward in this time of change. To me, that's all about a new generation taking more power - which I think is what we more or less should be betting on one way or the other in this election.
2016-01-20T03:50:10+00:00 Erik Hare
I could read some Thurber if you'd like ...
(that's an obscure joke ...)
2016-01-20T00:44:37+00:00 Erik Hare
Glad you liked it, then! 2016-01-19T15:47:45+00:00 Erik Hare
Same here. I feel a little hesitant to be dogmatic about it, given that I was a white boy going through this. But I felt that in the end it was better for white people than black - like nearly everything. 2016-01-19T01:51:21+00:00 Erik Hare
A lot are going this week. Tough week. 2016-01-19T00:17:41+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope we can get over it. We have to at least try. 2016-01-19T00:15:11+00:00 Erik Hare
I can appreciate that. I don't know that I would call this year "progress" as much as something that we can build on if we want to. If I'm right about a coming prosperity there may be a chance to actually make progress. 2015? No, not really. 2016-01-18T19:12:41+00:00 Erik Hare
No, but some personal history. I was in the first class integrated by court order all the way from Kindergarten in Dade County, Florida (1983). I learned a lot as a kid about race. Integration was good for us white people - I don't know if it was as good for blacks, however, as it tended to break up the community. 2016-01-18T16:35:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Racism is far from our sole problem, but as a nation with a lot of mixing it's certainly been more of an issue here. Our racism also flies directly in the face of our high ideals, which highlights the racism especially.
It is a lot more than blacks, of course, but the constant and enduring struggle of Black America is a festering sore that never seems to heal. And that it's been with us forever makes it seem like it's just who we are. It can't be. We have to be better.
2016-01-18T01:15:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Beyond cold. We is below zero! 2016-01-17T01:04:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Or they blow it on "infrastructure" they don't need.
2016-01-16T01:21:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, there's always that possibility. :-) Seriously, it could be a big issue but I honestly doubt it. The worst thing I can see happening is general upheaval in China creating a massive refugee crisis. 2016-01-15T21:17:52+00:00 Erik Hare
The size of this problem is huge - and its why comparisons to the collapse of Japan are difficult. But it still should go about the same way, which is to say a huge investment in America and at least 10 years of very good times. 2016-01-15T21:16:54+00:00 Erik Hare
A very, very good point. We were right all along and should have seen this coming. 2016-01-15T21:16:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! Unless it gets a lot worse, which is always a possibility. :-) 2016-01-15T16:48:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. On the one hand, I don't see why US stocks are tanking on this because we really can only benefit. On the other hand, this is a huge change and no one knows what risk is really out there. So we have a short-term panic with the potential for a big longer-term gain. 2016-01-15T16:24:38+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a lot going on around the world, but what matters is that the US is still fundamentally sound. That will come back into play after a bit. But this flight from China is a big event and it does represent risk all around. 2016-01-15T15:39:32+00:00 Erik Hare
A good rebuttal to many of my points. I do honestly believe that Clinton is the most qualified and best person for the job, but I see why people to the left of me disagree. If you honestly think the most important issue today is income inequality than Bernie is definitely your candidate. I happen to think that with a few key reforms here and there the problem will work itself out very shortly. 2016-01-15T03:31:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Good call on not watching teevee. It rots yer mind - except for cartoons, that is. :-)
Yes, getting out of gridlock is what I think is the most important thing. I do believe that an active Congress will wind up engaging people, which is to say that nothing too stupid will happen. We need a lot of serious reform in many areas to set up the next economy!
2016-01-15T03:29:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2016-01-13T17:56:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! And when I feel him next to me, smiling, I know my friend is with me. The stories? Every piece is a different one, every piece is a moment or emotion that cannot be described any other way. 2016-01-13T17:41:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, indeed. I am more of a fan of the Passion of St John for many reasons, but both are incredible.
I am more of a Bach fan than I even let on here - I've spent my life studying his work.
2016-01-13T00:47:07+00:00 Erik Hare
It is. The principle is getting things done. Taking a stand isn't enough - there are people suffering out there. 2016-01-12T16:02:44+00:00 Erik Hare
A good point. The office changes everyone so it might actually be interesting to see what happens.
Well, maybe we'll see. :-) I am pretty sure we'll elect the Democrat, whoever that winds up being, so this could be a really wild year.
2016-01-12T04:19:24+00:00 Erik Hare
We're at least thinking of the same problem - Congress. I think the Dems will retake the Senate, so I'm not too worried. But the House ... not likely to take that.
Part of the reason I support Hillary is that I can imagine her and Paul Ryan making a deal to actually get something done. That may frighten you more, and I'd understand that, but there is so much that we obviously have to get done in the way of reform for the next generation and the next economy that I'm not too worried.
But, no matter what, I want to see an energized and engaged progressive movement taking over the national dialogue. Nothing good will happen without that, no matter who we elect. I'll go as far as to say it almost doesn't matter who we elect without that.
And, to make it clear, if Sanders does pull this off I'll happily support him and do what I can to be sure that Minnesota goes for him!
2016-01-12T04:16:53+00:00 Erik Hare
No, I'll sellout. Pretty cheap, too - have a mortgage to pay. BTW, know anyone who might spring for a sponsorship? 2016-01-12T04:12:26+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope so - FDR at least had a Congress on his side! :-) 2016-01-11T23:32:53+00:00 Erik Hare
We'll take that. :-) 2016-01-11T23:32:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree, it's risky at best. But I do think it's going to happen. There is a political earthquake in the works, so we'll see how that goes at the start of 2017. As for the turnaround, well, once we approach full employment you have to agree everything does change. And I do see that.
So it's not so much about the cycles, which should NEVER happen like clockwork, but the underlying other changes.
2016-01-11T23:32:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Sanders would have been much more interesting to me 8 years ago, yes. We need a leader for the Year Everything Changes and beyond. Keep up with my pet theories, will ya? :-) 2016-01-11T20:15:15+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree all around, except there have been times I have thought Jeb! was OK as well (only a few). I'll eagerly vote for any of the Democrats. 2016-01-11T20:14:01+00:00 Erik Hare
There is no doubt she has experienced that through her whole life. I think it's what made her strong. 2016-01-11T20:13:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Clinton is a behind the scenes negotiator first and foremost, which shows in her public speaking. That is both her great strength and her biggest flaw, I say, and I think a strong cabinet that draws her out into the open will do her a world of good.
Sanders' experience has been almost entirely legislative. He's good at that, and he is an important figure without any doubt. But I make a distinction between legislative and executive - I think Obama's weakness as an executive shows the difference clearly. If Sanders had been Governor of Vermont I genuinely would be much more excited about him. That may seem strange but it's really true. As an executive you have to do a lot more than talk, you have to make things happen and see them through.
2016-01-11T20:12:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, in the end "value" and "values" are the same word. We have to seek the value we really want economically as well as socially. 2016-01-08T19:04:54+00:00 Erik Hare
That's what I'm seeing, too. There are a lot of jobs out there. 2016-01-08T19:04:14+00:00 Erik Hare
It is better today. But the 10yr remains low at 2.14% and I bet is heading lower. 2016-01-08T19:03:57+00:00 Erik Hare
I think this is the wave of the future for a lot of reasons - your experience is probably the best one. 2016-01-08T18:56:11+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't really know. I can tell you the unemployment rate for 20 year olds is much lower, in the range of 4.6%. 2016-01-08T18:55:33+00:00 Erik Hare
There is upward pressure on wages and it will continue. Companies will try to keep salaries low where they can, but they can't anymore.
So once the thinking starts to change we can only hope that companies will start looking at higher wages the way you do - we hire the best, we pay the best.
2016-01-08T16:15:13+00:00 Erik Hare
We are in the same part of the Midwest, so there is a common culture. But the primary difference is this:
In Minnesota, the definition of a "small town" is a crossroads with a gas station, a bar, and two churches.
In Wisconsin, the definition of a "small town" is a crossroads with a gas station, a church, and two bars.
2016-01-08T00:40:31+00:00 Erik Hare
I do agree that the real problem is a social one - we honestly think violence is natural and solves problems. That has to change.
We can't legislate away gun violence overnight, I'm sure. We might be able to change the culture gradually. That's why I would like to change the emphasis away from the gun as an object and towards the person holding the weapon. It doesn't seem like a lot, I'm sure, but I think over the long haul it will help get a handle on this idea that guns are some kind of solution.
Training is always the way to self defense, gun or not. You don't need a gun for nearly all situations anyone will find themselves in. I'd like to start there and work out.
But I don't expect an overnight miracle, no. You are right about how sick our culture has become.
2016-01-06T18:05:47+00:00 Erik Hare
I think a universal permitting system based on the standards now used in many states for concealed carry would do that. In other words, you have to prove you already passed the background check before you can buy anything.
The NRA would hate this, of course, but I think the public would go along with it at this point.
2016-01-06T16:24:15+00:00 Erik Hare
That is the problem, yes. I think that given there is a rejection rate for CC permits there are people who don't make the cut. But they can still own a gun even if they can't concealed-carry it. I think the standard should be that high just for ownership. 2016-01-06T16:23:10+00:00 Erik Hare
I think a similar system is in place in many states for a CC permit. So why not have a permitting system? What's wrong with that? If you don't have the right kind of ID with the right permits on it any gun sale is illegal. That doesn't cut out illegal sales, of course, but it starts changing the emphasis onto training and skills - which I think is inherently more important. 2016-01-06T01:12:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, indeed. Also, he's been dead a long time - kind of like the generation of Saudi kings who weren't power-hungry spoiled playboys.
The more I think about this the more I realize that this is just another example of too much money in the hands of stupid people. That seems to be a big problem lately.
2016-01-06T01:10:47+00:00 Erik Hare
With friends like these, who needs enemies? 2016-01-06T01:09:14+00:00 Erik Hare
You know. there are three big powers in the region - Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. The first two are nominally our "allies" - but without any doubt the most contentious of any allies we have.
Iran is supposedly our greatest enemy. However, I have to say that I have far more respect for them as a nation because they will at least look us in the eyes before they tell us to go screw ourselves. Our supposed "allies"? They both view us as their clients, to use Alan's term.
I'd rather deal with Iran all in all, thank you.
2016-01-04T17:45:58+00:00 Erik Hare
They would just assume run US oil out of business, yes. They prefer it when we are dependent on them. And, we should say over and over again, we are not. 2016-01-04T17:42:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Exactly. They have dug themselves a terrible hole right now and do not seem to understand it. And they are indeed causing a lot more trouble than they ever used to. 2016-01-04T16:23:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes. This will require tremendous leadership to get through. 2016-01-04T15:08:46+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree that we are more their clients - their mercenary force. At least, we have been so far. We can't do that, especially in a Sunni/Shia fight.
We've been played. We have our own major sources of oil now and don't have to let that happen.
2016-01-04T15:08:19+00:00 Erik Hare
We also created Saddam Hussein and Hosni Mubarak. Our record is horrendous.
But this is not our fight, though it would be easy to suck us into it.
We have to pull ourselves out of this and this mess has to be the line. The new aggressively assertive Saudi Arabia is a terrible force for instability and it will only lead to much worse than the horrors we've already seen.
2016-01-04T03:10:28+00:00 Erik Hare
It is a matter of risk, not size. Properly evaluating risk is the key to ANY free-market (or even capitalist :-) ) enterprise and that seems to be getting more difficult these days. But it's the cornerstone of the new regulation in place since the fall of Lehman, et al, and it has to be that way.
I think it is favorable to have smaller banks for many reasons. We have a belief that banks should be able to fail and the rest of the world can move on. But there are other ways of handling that strange attitude, mainly through insurance. That and the requirements for quality assets that only get tougher as banks get bigger are good approaches, IMHO.
But yes, it comes down to humans in the end. In a rush to get higher returns people who are incentivized to produce will do dumb things. Aggressive behavior is also an issue when the stakes get really high and the only employees who can handle the mad rush are young men on the make.
There's a lot to think about here. The more I think about it "big" isn't necessarily the most important problem. But ... the appeal of "small" is pretty obvious.
2015-12-29T16:11:09+00:00 Erik Hare
On aspect of the op-ed I didn't tackle was the assertion that banks choose the people who work there. This was interesting because the recent selection of Kashkari as the new President of the Minneapolis Fed shed a lot of light on the process. His selection came from a committee comprised of the Board members who were specifically NOT bankers.
And they selected a person with banking experience, yes, but a lot of non-banking experience as well.
Some of the Fed regionals are more community minded than others. In St Louis, for example, Bullard has pioneered many expansions of community banking.
Is the Fed politicized? I say no more than it was at its founding - and there are many good examples of it being much more open since Yellen took control - a process started by Bernanke. Could it be better? Yes, and we should encourage these efforts. A greater presence demands it.
But to conflate the areas where there are definite problems with decisions like raising the Fed Funds Rate and Glass-Steagall is just irresponsible. Further, this "audit the Fed" talk is fine enough as far as it goes but it seems very unlikely that it could produce anything given how open the Fed's books are now for anyone to see.
Sanders' comments alone are fine as far as they go. Questioning the Fed's influences is always good, yes. Removing some of their regulation power is probably called for, yes, and it will only help them be more independent.
Where I have a problem is not as much in what Sanders said as the response I'm seeing from his supporters. And re-reading Sanders' op-ed I have to say that the conflation of many different things appears to be deliberate demagoguery for his base that Sanders should have known would fuel some of this lingering John Bircher / Libertarian nonsense.
That's really disturbing to me. A world without the Fed is a world where the big banks have essentially unlimited power. As this piece is titled, be careful what you wish for.
2015-12-28T17:42:44+00:00 Erik Hare
You are far from the only one. The more I think about this the more frightened I am.
I do believe, on the right at least, they are talking about a return to a rigid gold standard, yes. On the left I don't think they have imagined anything yet - which may be worse.
2015-12-28T16:18:46+00:00 Erik Hare
That should be lesson #1, yes. But this level of grandstanding from Sanders is more than a little disturbing to me. I'm afraid of how much conspiracy theorizing has penetrated the young "progressives", really left-libertarians.
And I really think Sanders knows quite a bit better than this article.
Why is he throwing his supporters more red meat when he should be reaching out, BTW? Isn't the goal to reach more voters, not just keep energizing your base?
There's a lot here I don't get, but I can assure you that this op-ed was a purely political document. And yes, politicizing the Fed is damned dangerous.
2015-12-28T14:26:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Peace, love, and happiness? 2015-12-28T14:24:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Well, then. :-( I'm not against taking a close look at the Fed, but I am very wary of politicizing it or, even worse, getting rid of it.
We need a public agency that is ultimately responsible and we need the liquidity of a reserve system. The Fed was a key victory of Progressives and we can't forget that.
Far, far too many people have - and that really bothers me.
2015-12-28T00:43:29+00:00 Erik Hare
That did come out a bit strange, didn't it? Merry Christmas! 2015-12-23T21:38:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Boring can be good! 2015-12-23T21:38:02+00:00 Erik Hare
That's what I hope the break does. We do need to calm down, yes. 2015-12-23T16:34:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-12-23T16:33:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Merry Christmas, and thanks! 2015-12-23T16:33:22+00:00 Erik Hare
Merry Christmas to you, too! 2015-12-23T16:33:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. Perhaps that's the message to start with. But while we can educate the next generation easily we have to think about how to reach the adult population Better consumers would have a lot more power and put an end to a lot of bad behavior quickly, IMHO. 2015-12-21T16:14:01+00:00 Erik Hare
Active shareholders - a huge topic I've never been able to even get started with. But I do believe that it's really critical. I have no idea where to start, though! 2015-12-21T16:12:54+00:00 Erik Hare
I hear ya. But given that we know that financial education is so far behind there is a good place to start. Perhaps education consumers will first demand systems that are easier to understand - right now, I get the feeling that they are so used to the idea that it's all a mystery that they don't even really try. If we can just get over that we'll have something. 2015-12-21T03:46:46+00:00 Erik Hare
There has been inflation in some key areas. Generally, however, it's not what it used to be. There is a lot of talk that the basket of goods used to evaluate what inflation is needs to be seriously re-evaluated. 2015-12-18T04:26:31+00:00 Erik Hare
It happened, right on schedule. 2015-12-18T04:24:56+00:00 Erik Hare
They did! :-) 2015-12-18T04:24:42+00:00 Erik Hare
I thought you said May the fourth, not January the fourth. Wait, let me get my glasses ... 2015-12-18T04:24:29+00:00 Erik Hare
Or anything? 2015-12-18T04:23:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Then I'm doing my job well! :-)
Perhaps I should say more about faith. Mine is pretty simple. Be good to each other and the rest will follow. :-)
2015-12-14T14:46:50+00:00 Erik Hare
I think it's a very old song, in at least one form or another. It's also a Winter song that does not mention Christmas at all! So anyone can use it as long as there is snow. (we have none this year!) 2015-12-14T14:45:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Christmas is so complex as a holiday - from its pagan origin to the spotty way it's celebrated among Christians to the modern commercialism - that it's always hard to know just what to make of it.
Where I always go is "You shall know the just by their deeds." To me, this season really brings out the best and worst in us and lets us know who really "gets it". :-)
2015-12-14T14:44:58+00:00 Erik Hare
I fear that, but the reaction to this has been so heavy that I don't think we will go any further for a while at least. But I offered "South Park" as an example because their "line" does indeed move a bit every year simply because they find it and dance on top of it, one foot just over the "line". 2015-12-11T17:31:59+00:00 Erik Hare
Wow. There's a lot there, and thank you for it. We cannot discount the feelings of his followers. Our "leaders" have done a terrible job for a long time in one of the most essential features of leadership in a democratic-republic, which is to say making sure that the people are really with them.
Let's take the flip-side for a moment - Bernie Sanders. Someone has to tell the truth as they see it if we're ever going to get anywhere! For many people, Trump is "the truth". There are a LOT of problems we've allowed to fester. Someone has to do something!
I always think back to the "Contract With America" in 1994 - I do believe that the turning point for Gingrich came not so much in winning conservatives but with the sliver of centrists - maybe 10% of the voting population - that figured, "They have a plan and no one else does, why not give them a shot?" There's a cool logic in this, one supported in many ways by our deepest traditions. It's practical. Why not?
Well, there are these moral imperative "lines" if you want one reason why not. Where are they? What do they look like?
Until this came up I wasn't sure there were any lines anymore.
Bounded chaos, bounded practicality, bounded patience. At some point it all comes down to understanding the boundaries. I'm a centrist by nature - I always come down the middle if there's any possible way to do it. Balance and harmony, that's me. America? Ha! We're a dynamic nation that always strikes out into undiscovered country.
But we still have lines. There are still limits. I'm just not the guy that will find them. Matt and Trey are, and that's very cool. I like them a lot.
2015-12-11T17:30:29+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! Satire doesn't invite us to join the world - it stands apart from it. It tells people that "the in-crowd is over here" on a bad day, and on a good day manages nothing better than "it's all hopelessly screwed up, all ya can do is laugh!"
I think we're largely unprepared to deal with reality and the more we go down this rat hole the harder it will be to climb out to the harsh light of day.
That doesn't mean I don't find "South Park" to be hilarious. But to me it's more of a dessert than a good meal. I need more in my diet.
2015-12-11T17:22:13+00:00 Erik Hare
I think I can say with confidence that 35% of all voters have definitely fascist leanings, yes. How they got to that point is another conversation, and one we should have, but I think we should be worried about it.
And most Muslims do indeed live in nations best described as fascist, yes. A kind of national or islamic state terror oriented regime bent more on control than the welfare of the people. That has a lot to do with how we got where we are, for sure!

As for this "line" that we seem to have crossed. It's not my "line", it's one set by the media and by general culture. The reaction to this part of Trump's message has been unlike all the previous things that I thought were pretty damned Nazi. I'm amazed by this, frankly. So this is the line, huh? Interesting.

As for lightening up, there is a lot to be said for making fun of him more than wringing hands, I'll grant you. Another lesson from "South Park". And yes, there is still a loooong way to go before anyone votes. So we probably should never take this too seriously - the voters will take care of this at some point. I do trust them.

But why this reaction now? I'm as much amazed as anything. I should have written this piece more with that tone in mind. Next time, I promise. :-)
2015-12-11T17:19:09+00:00 Erik Hare
The hard line, the cultural line, is probably different from yours. I find it fascinating that it is at excluding a whole religion from entering the country - I did not see that coming. But yes, there have been many lines crossed ahead of this. Perhaps it's more of a "straw that broke the camel's back" situation? 2015-12-11T17:13:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-12-09T20:14:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes - maybe not answer the question but at least trying to find a way forward in the darkness. 2015-12-09T17:29:33+00:00 Erik Hare
Me. too. This is hard to stomach all around. 2015-12-09T17:28:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you! Really great stuff! 2015-12-09T17:28:38+00:00 Erik Hare
As always, you add so much! Thank you, love the idea of an empathic civilization. I only hope we can get there. 2015-12-09T17:28:18+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you. Forget what other people say - desperate times call for Yeats. 2015-12-09T17:27:08+00:00 Erik Hare
I honestly don't know most of the time. 2015-12-07T17:28:14+00:00 Erik Hare
Even what you propose is a pretty big stretch politically. I think we can get to the "regulate guns like cars" stage with all this, given a change in leadership, but even that will be like pulling teeth. And I really doubt it will do anything useful. 2015-12-07T17:27:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, if we can help Minneapolis get through this I really want us to. We are all in this together. It does seem that St Paul is at least better and maybe enough better that we have a lot to contribute as the solution.
No matter what I want us to be a part of this conversation. If nothing else I think that our city is not as racially divided and certainly not as heated up over this. If that can help us all get through to a brighter place we will have contributed something important.
2015-12-04T18:17:01+00:00 Erik Hare
This is GOLD Tamrahjo, thank you for it! The only reason I'm not responding right away is that you have given us ALL a lot to think about carefully.
Really great stuff, thank you!
2015-12-04T18:14:16+00:00 Erik Hare
I agree. Being white definitely helps our attitude so it's best to not be too cocky, but from what I can tell we have kind, conscientious people who do their jobs very well. Community policing is built into their jobs all around.
I do think we should pay them more just because they deserve it, too.
But I would like to hear from non-whites about our police just to be sure.
2015-12-04T16:42:28+00:00 Erik Hare
Fair enough. It's only $45k nationally, which is to say about the average for all workers.
Is $54k a lot? I ask for a tremendous amount from police so I would say it's not nearly enough. It really depends on what you expect them to do.
There are pretty big education requirements - a tough 2 year degree is a minimum, 4 year if you want to get anywhere. I believe we have to insist on the very best and in order to attract them I think we have to pay a lot. I do think it has to be worth it.
2015-12-04T16:33:59+00:00 Erik Hare
It is almost certainly worse in other places. What's going on here is closer to my mind and I can get an understanding of it. I want to stress that from what I know we don't have this problem in St Paul - at least not on this scale. What are we doing right? The police can learn from each other, I'm sure. I hope they're all talking. 2015-12-04T16:31:32+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-12-04T16:30:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Keep typing your thoughts as they come! We have to get through this somehow. I'm sure that more than a few of the over-worked cops have a view of their community as "the enemy" and dread going to work / going out on a call. How are they going to get over it? What does the system need to do to make this change happen?
When we call for "justice" there's a focus on individual actions. I'm trying to expand the focus because the solution has to involve the whole system making a fundamental change. Not being in the field it seems nearly impossible to do but someone has to know how to do this.
2015-12-04T16:30:07+00:00 Erik Hare
I would love to hear more! I avoided the term "community policing" because it seems to take on many different forms in different communities - as it should. And sadly it hasn't worked well in some places so the term has some negative connotation.
It's the cooperation and empowerment that seems to make the difference. When you have a community in a place where North Minneapolis in particular and black people in Minneapolis more largely are right now it's going to be very hard to build the trust and really empower in a way that has to happen to make it work well. I can only imagine how this will go from here - IF the commitment comes through!
2015-12-04T16:27:17+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-12-04T16:24:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. I'm never sure what I have to add to this, but I'm very sure that we have to talk about this - white people especially. 2015-12-04T16:24:40+00:00 Erik Hare
But I'm better at it. :-)
2015-12-04T01:57:45+00:00 Erik Hare
MacBeth! :-) 2015-12-02T21:35:13+00:00 Erik Hare
I am sad that you won't be there with us! I hope we have at least one accountant handy - everyone needs one. :-) 2015-12-02T17:30:57+00:00 Erik Hare
Absolutely. My main question is what laws we have in place that we can't enforce due to stupid restrictions and what new laws do we need to make that as much a reality as possible? 2015-12-02T17:30:21+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you, but it is something I believe very sincerely. I was going to write this in a sarcastic way but I am starting to think that sarcasm is a cancer that will metastasize to consume us all. So I said it straight up. We come from violent stock and have no business complaining about other people's violence. 2015-12-02T01:24:27+00:00 Erik Hare
The point is that they are trying - and it could have been a lot worse. We didn't have a repeat of 1929, so by that standard .... 2015-12-02T00:58:56+00:00 Erik Hare
I can see that, but to say that Moslems are "violent" is still very hypocritical. 2015-12-01T19:21:07+00:00 Erik Hare
A good addition - we have been at war nearly continuously since 2001. And we do kill a lot of people "by mistake" - with very little sorrow for that loss. 2015-12-01T03:35:12+00:00 Erik Hare
Indeed, we do! 2015-12-01T03:34:22+00:00 Erik Hare
It doesn't. The politics seems far less important to me than the constant need for people to use violence to get what they want. 2015-12-01T03:34:11+00:00 Erik Hare
We are eating a smoked chicken - I like it! This is a world we made, by and large, it's true. We harvest what we plant. 2015-12-01T03:33:37+00:00 Erik Hare
I tried to write it in a way that is hard to deny - as blankly as possible. But, alas, the denial at the core of European culture is critical - we are the great moral compass of the world, right? 2015-12-01T03:32:51+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes - they are the scapegoat of the times. 2015-12-01T03:32:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-11-29T20:20:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Mine has problems with the Fs and F#s all the way up for some weird reason. They're all strung a bit differently! 2015-11-29T20:19:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Oh, yeah. But let's not get her into pressed anchovies - they don't do well when pressed. They prefer a relaxed, creative environment. 2015-11-28T22:25:50+00:00 Erik Hare
I need to do that, too. :-) My 1932 Kimball baby grand sounds great when it's in tune, but it's been a few years. 2015-11-28T22:25:10+00:00 Erik Hare
A good plan! 2015-11-27T20:41:37+00:00 Erik Hare
No, it is not! 2015-11-27T20:37:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much, yes.
2015-11-27T20:36:58+00:00 Erik Hare
Another vote for buy nothing day! It's a good idea all around. 2015-11-27T20:36:40+00:00 Erik Hare
I hope not. I have faith in you! 2015-11-27T20:36:19+00:00 Erik Hare
A good day to do just that! I will buy something, however - a tree from a small farm. 2015-11-27T20:36:05+00:00 Erik Hare
That is what I am getting at. We have basic values and we have to stick with them. They are what made us great in the first place! 2015-11-27T20:35:36+00:00 Erik Hare
Hope you had a wonderful, thankful day! 2015-11-27T20:34:04+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! 2015-11-27T20:33:50+00:00 Erik Hare
I talked about some of this. Actually, what I said was, "We don't make stuff in this country anymore." 2015-11-27T20:33:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-11-27T20:32:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Amen to you, too, brother! 2015-11-25T16:52:43+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you very much! 2015-11-25T16:52:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Thank you - we do need to stand up to all forms of terror and not let it change us! 2015-11-25T16:52:19+00:00 Erik Hare
Oh? Do tell. :-) 2015-11-25T01:19:34+00:00 Erik Hare
I think that "$$$" is the universal language. 2015-11-25T01:19:13+00:00 Erik Hare
I've been trying to make it better. The stupid finally got to me. :-) 2015-11-23T16:11:52+00:00 Erik Hare
There are always opportunities somewhere! The difference is that the initiative has shifted to US investors and away from developing nation borrowers.
But equity is much better than debt if you ask me, so if things move that direction it will be good for everyone. I'm still a bit worried about what happens if all the money out there comes home suddenly.
2015-11-23T16:11:06+00:00 Erik Hare
I will continue to place my bet that their best days are behind them. :-) 2015-11-23T01:51:41+00:00 Erik Hare
Mostly it is. Sometimes it's at least passable. :-) 2015-11-20T17:03:48+00:00 Erik Hare
Another way to put it, from Pogo - "We have met the enemy and he is us." :-) 2015-11-20T17:03:26+00:00 Erik Hare
When they're doing the work of terrorists, dividing the world into Islam and everyone else, all comparisons to horrible people seem rather fair to me. 2015-11-20T17:01:26+00:00 Erik Hare
Nice guys. :-) 2015-11-19T17:01:13+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks. But I think the conclusion here is that things were more or less just truckin' along and no one is really paying attention - which seems to be true for nearly everything. 2015-11-18T19:29:41+00:00 Erik Hare
No, not really. :-) (I assume you were being saarcastic) 2015-11-18T19:29:00+00:00 Erik Hare
It certainly surprised me. They tried to hit everything they could, too.
In other nations subsidies usually come from state-run companies. So it's a different setup all around. It's hard to compare generally.
2015-11-18T16:42:30+00:00 Erik Hare
Targeted subsidies, such as home heating assistance that goes directly to the poor, is always going to be cheaper than a broad subsidy that lowers the price for everyone.
Then again, a cash payment to the poor that allows them to make the choices they need (food, energy, etc) is the best for them and also probably cheaper in the long run.
BUT - to help everyone some stability in critical markets like food and energy is probably more useful than actually lowering the price, IMHO.
2015-11-18T16:41:20+00:00 Erik Hare
I have come to believe that a technology based solution in a competitive framework like this is the best go-to alternative before we start subsidizing things. Having said that, I know it's not always going to work. But we can imagine a checklist for governments facing problems that at least starts here.
The X Prize is a great start. Their resources are limited but ... wow ...
2015-11-18T16:39:03+00:00 Erik Hare
It's troubling. I understand why many nations subsidize energy - it's vital to modern life. But that makes the energy market stagnant and less efficient - and directly conflicts with the need for new sources!
This is a classic problem for the left. Market forces are very, very powerful and there are good reasons to have a light hand whenever possible. But there are also good reasons to subsidize basic services. There is no "one answer" !!
2015-11-18T16:37:00+00:00 Erik Hare
In other words, if your schtick is based on calling things like they are it's a Depression. :-) 2015-11-17T15:15:04+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm actually OK with some level of "Black Friday". I know some families go out and shop together and if that's their thing then more power to 'em. I only want to see Thanksgiving, the one day, preserved. That is what is important to me. 2015-11-16T18:52:29+00:00 Erik Hare
I think it is, too. 2015-11-16T18:51:22+00:00 Erik Hare
What is a "Great Recession" if not a "Depression"? :-) 2015-11-16T18:51:03+00:00 Erik Hare
We need Thanksgiving, I feel, as a nation. It's universal and non-sectarian but very centering. We should be thankful for what we have! 2015-11-16T18:50:37+00:00 Erik Hare
It only makes sense when you think about $9 trillion in "carry trade", or US Dollars loaned out in the developing world, that has to come home once things start normalizing. The key is to follow the money and look for something to break - which it is (slowly) now. 2015-11-13T17:21:24+00:00 Erik Hare
It's tanking quicker than I expected - much quicker than the stock market. We might breach 2.25% today or on Monday at this rate. But the call is for below 2.00% as the dust settles early in 2016. That will be good for everyone. 2015-11-13T17:20:19+00:00 Erik Hare
I'm still bearish as all Hell on gold. Even if the US Dollar doesn't appreciate I see it going nowhere but down - a trajectory it recently picked up again after a brief spike up during the August - September market volatility.
I see the price of gold as nothing more than an indicator of fear, and I see fear subsiding through the next several years.
2015-11-13T01:23:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Well, then - hardly a "girl". :-) 2015-11-12T18:29:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Who is Melissa Benoist and should I know her? :-) 2015-11-12T14:40:51+00:00 Erik Hare
I have not found yet who they considered for the position. The Board of directors is here: https://www.minneapolisfed.org/about/board-of-directors
Note that only the "Class B" and "Class C" members were voting on the new President. They generally represent businesses in the area, but Hang does not.
2015-11-11T20:52:22+00:00 Erik Hare
We don't know yet. My hunch is that he will, or at least be more eager than Kocherlakota. But Kashkari doesn't get to vote as a member of the FOMC until 2017 anyways. 2015-11-11T20:50:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-11-11T16:58:07+00:00 Erik Hare
I think so! He's kind of the anti-Kocherlakota in some ways. 2015-11-11T16:57:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Is it that transparent? :-) Seriously, imagine what it was like waiting for news - the anticipation that turns into anxiety. It must have been nerve wracking! 2015-11-11T16:57:26+00:00 Erik Hare
If they don't like it then they should try to not be so tasty ... 2015-11-11T16:56:08+00:00 Erik Hare
There is a good, patriotic reason! 2015-11-11T16:55:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Schroedinger's cat never escapes, too. :-) 2015-11-06T21:56:25+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! 2015-11-06T19:43:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes, very low. They don't normally regress to the mean all in one month like this - which is really what happened and nothing more.
Stocks are down slightly but the 10yr is up to 2.32% already - a gain of 7 basis points in one day (0.07%). That's a big swing. If stocks tank, however, there will be downward pressure on that if investors turn to bonds - which I do not expect to happen today. Give it a week.
2015-11-06T15:01:22+00:00 Erik Hare
This will be a critical week no matter what. I can't see that the jobs report will be bad no matter what given the ADP numbers. 2015-11-06T03:30:12+00:00 Erik Hare
It's what I do. :-) 2015-11-06T03:29:27+00:00 Erik Hare
That's the promise of the internet - leveling the playing field in terms of media access by companies large and small. But it still takes a major cultural / attitude shift to make it happen. As I always say, the economy is all about value and values - those really are the same word despite how we use them distinctly. 2015-11-05T15:57:54+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point. The postwar world is starting to look so antique it's hard to make any sense of it.
Welcome to the other side of the Managed Depression - a time when everything changes! :-)
2015-11-04T19:46:35+00:00 Erik Hare
We have always been kidding ourselves, yes. But we're learning a little more with each blow-up in our understanding of the "facts" - if that helps at all. :-) 2015-11-04T19:37:38+00:00 Erik Hare
No need to apologize - the implications of this peeling back of the veneer of understanding (and implied control) are vast. And indeed it's a very human thing, or at least a modern human thing, to delude ourselves into the belief that everything can be put into a permanent equilibrium and controlled forever.
Consider the Black-Scholes-Merton equation that supposedly takes risk out of investing but still generates a decent net return. There is obviously something wrong in the whole approach, but it wasn't until the fall of Lehman that we understood it - risk wasn't dispatched, it was shared. Socialized, in fact, across the markets and ultimately by the taxpayers. It was all nonsense and should have been dispatched as so right away.
But the beliefs that we have in place which presume that what we see today is true forever are indeed very human. Does the sun not come up every day? There ya go. :-)
2015-11-04T19:36:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Resiliency is the key to me, which is why I've written about it (and around it) many times. I think that's the main reason that too much Financial Capacity (as per the last post) is a problem. We cannot commoditize everything and expect that the world will not become a much more harsh place. I really think it's that simple. The more we honor craftsmanship and decency the more we will have that in our lives - and better lives for everyone, everywhere. 2015-11-04T19:32:47+00:00 Erik Hare
In terms of resources, there is a finite limit and I agree that wise people have known for a long time that it cannot continue. But in terms of arts or services or other products of the mind there are no limits. The more we are a "software" world the more growth can, in fact, continue.
But even that argument is dashed against something very fundamental failing right now. It's chilling. One conclusion I hope people takeaway from this is that the maven who predict a wonderful software-based economy are also kidding themselves - unless we fix something much more fundamental, that is. Is it even fixable?
2015-11-04T01:18:35+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much, yes. 2015-11-04T00:54:43+00:00 Erik Hare
I think we do agree. The finance industry has too much power largely because it was granted to them. Perhaps the solution is simply better education all around, but I think there may be more. Regulations that encourage a more cozy, personal relationship between lender and borrower might well be in order - I am a big fan of credit unions generally, you know.
For business I think Clinton has spoken out well on this but a lot more has to be fleshed out. More than anything I think a change in attitude is what we need and the education part probably has to lead, yes.
2015-11-03T16:47:42+00:00 Erik Hare
It's more about the social implications of a world where everything is meaured in terms of its output on a monthly/quarterly basis. Why are companies measured entirely in the short term and often rewarded for desperately short-term thinking? That's the attitude we have. The idea is that the root of this thinking comes from the financial capacity. 2015-11-02T14:29:55+00:00 Erik Hare
You simply have to tell us more! But I'm far from surprised. What "business managers" want to know is often far from reality. It's a serious problem because many companies build incentive systems for employees that ultimately really aren't helping a damned thing. 2015-11-02T04:15:17+00:00 Erik Hare
That would be a good principle to start with, yes. :-) 2015-11-02T04:07:53+00:00 Erik Hare
It's really just a number. I think we could get used to it no matter what the number is. Supposedly our world is set for sunrise and sunset at 6 o'clock - but that changes an awful lot with the seasons anyway. 2015-11-02T04:06:51+00:00 Erik Hare
I think I just got all of them. :-) 2015-11-02T04:05:35+00:00 Erik Hare
I can always blame the British - especially the Royal Navy. :-) People do indeed already do this all the time. It's a feature of globalism. I'm simply calling for us to unite all of our thinking to make a truly global world part of our daily lives. 2015-11-02T04:05:02+00:00 Erik Hare
Maybe. All of the answers I have given may be correct, however. An excess of workers, the process of "evening out" the global economy into one thing, and the over-financialization of everything are in many ways the same problem. Everything in the old industrial economy has been "commoditized" - including workers.
The solution is a more artisan economy based on adding real value and producing real goods. Within that, there is a lot of value in being local as well as room for a lot more workers - and little need for more credit or the services of an ever more "innovative" financial world.
This may be the "one big thing" but I think it helps unite all the potential things that have gone wrong with brilliant illumination more than anything.
Connections. Again, it's all about connections. :-)
2015-11-02T04:02:49+00:00 Erik Hare
Precisely. As I hope you know, I am a big supporter of the Fed through this because I know that they have the best interests of working people in their hearts, minds, words, and action. However - there are clearly limits to what they can do and many of these became obvious.
Here is something that is not entirely obvious - something rotten at the heart of our economic theories about credit and economic growth. The Fed's actions may have unintentionally done a lot more harm than we thought.
2015-11-02T03:46:50+00:00 Erik Hare
Perhaps. But it is hard to start from scratch in so many ways, starting with ballot access. 2015-10-29T13:57:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Both are popular. Free college is pretty well split, but favored slightly https://today.yougov.com/news/2015/08/20/three-fifths-want-debt-free-college/ and the minimum wage hike is generally favored http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/pages/polling 2015-10-28T23:07:20+00:00 Erik Hare
I will look, but I do not know about any polling data. That is very good question. A big part of leadership is moving any poll, of course. :-) 2015-10-28T23:01:34+00:00 Erik Hare
Any attention at all is good. :-) 2015-10-28T23:00:12+00:00 Erik Hare
The Supreme Court in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission upheld the authority of an independent redistricting commission to act as the governing body in the case of redistricting. This means that independent commissions with ultimate authority can be created by the people of the state if they change the constitution, as they did in Arizona. It's a blow in favor of more fair districts but not a mandate by any means. 2015-10-28T17:14:05+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much. But this means that the Free Market will sort it out, which is not necessarily a bad thing. But yes, there is no comprehensive solution introduced all at once that encompasses everything. 2015-10-28T17:11:00+00:00 Erik Hare
My understanding is that the new cards have the new liability but the old cards have the old liability. That appears to put the onus on the merchant to get the new machines to process them properly, but some of the things I read suggested that this was not the case - a new card in an old machine does not change liability to the merchant. That doesn't make sense to me so I assume it is wrong. 2015-10-28T17:10:05+00:00 Erik Hare
You may be right - the PIN is the European standard, we seemed to have gone our own way. I think some will have a PIN but the standard for the new liability is apparently signature - and I have no idea how it checks that the signatures match. This is more confusing than I thought. 2015-10-28T17:04:58+00:00 Erik Hare
This is the first report I've seen on the system. Seriously. They are very rare here and I have yet to see anyone use a new card in a new machine. 2015-10-26T02:44:04+00:00 Erik Hare
That is my read of it, yes. The new cards come with a promise of better security, and fulfillment of that falls partly on merchants. 2015-10-26T02:39:56+00:00 Erik Hare
Pretty much, yes. 2015-10-26T02:39:23+00:00 Erik Hare
No one really knows what is going on anymore, that is clear to me. I intend to say that with a great deal of style. :-)
Making arrangements with the viddy pros right now. :-)
2015-10-26T02:39:08+00:00 Erik Hare
Here is where I'm at - let's get a really good plan together outside of the political system. Dodd-Frank was close, but it came from inside primarily. One we have a good plan in place we can push for it - and if it fails the problem will be in high relief.
I do think that just saying "The system is broken" is not going to get us anywhere, nor is trying to fix it without a specific goal. People unite around causes and political reform is awfully abstract. Once the reason it's needed is clear it has a chance, IMHO.
2015-10-26T02:38:10+00:00 Erik Hare
The voters have been favoring that a lot over the last 50 years. There is a reason why. Can't say it's a good reason, however. :-) 2015-10-26T02:35:16+00:00 Erik Hare
Can you at least tell us who you are quoting, then? 2015-10-23T04:14:18+00:00 Erik Hare
I honestly don't know what you mean. 2015-10-23T01:57:38+00:00 Erik Hare
We're coming from two different places. I believe that good regulation allows everything that does not interfere with a defined public need, purpose, or property. If the public wants to have their services in one place they should be allowed to have that unless there is a good reason not to in this thinking. In other words, use a light hand unless there's a good reason not to. 2015-10-21T16:19:49+00:00 Erik Hare
This is where I start to lose people, partly because I really don't know. But I suspect that if the industry really believes there is an economy of scale in basic checking and savings services we need to start there. It may be a case of inappropriate regulation that increases overhead or something like that, but when you have something where there is a perceived economy of scale it's about overhead one way or the other. 2015-10-21T16:18:23+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point. I have all this stuff around here somewhere. :-) 2015-10-20T19:13:00+00:00 Erik Hare
Some of this will be about economic perspectives - how to see the events of the last few years (decades?) differently. 2015-10-20T19:12:15+00:00 Erik Hare
Thanks! I think if I do something a bit different it will work well. But I want to collapse the formality of the event at least at the end. 2015-10-19T16:54:07+00:00 Erik Hare
Maybe we can do it on a weekend? It seems that there's always a lot going on then, which is what I was trying to avoid. 2015-10-19T16:53:24+00:00 Erik Hare
Yes! :-) A strong economy is good for Democrats all around. It's one of the keys to the election, really. 2015-10-16T17:41:27+00:00 Erik Hare
Right on! But to be fair consumer credit was really tightened in 2010 or so and hasn't loosened up much. That's probably for the best if it stays that way - but it has been hurting us. Again, this is all about transforming the economy into something new, something where we have the strong base to be able to handle globalism without it killing us. And that does mean more local sourcing.
I have been thinking about this a lot but in all honesty the data showing what direction we're going just isn't there to give me anything conclusive. I'd love to find one or two things that we should keep an eye on but I just can't. It's all talk, all the way through as far as I can tell. Maybe we are moving the right direction but it's very hard to say.
Overall, though, I totally agree with you. For example, Egypt imports 60% of its food. That means that when their currency fluctuates because of something stupid by banks the people starve. Their whole nation is unstable largely for this reason. I'm all for free global markets but not covering the basics at a local level is a recipe for disaster. The key to me is Resiliency or the ability to weather a likely storm. I use Egypt as an example because it's pretty extreme, IMHO, but we have similar issues with energy, relying way too heavily on imports and unsustainable sources. I favor renewables not because I love polar bears or anything - it's simply the right thing to do for the economy.
2015-10-16T17:40:49+00:00 Erik Hare
It won't, so we all have to deal with it. :-) 2015-10-16T16:56:42+00:00 Erik Hare
Allright then, here's something to think about at a time when the velocity or turnover of money is at an historic low:
Let's say you mow your lawn. Great, you have a nice looking lawn. But why didn't you pay someone to do it? Then they would have money they could use to eat out and the cycle continues through the economy, providing work for everyone.
Now, let's say that you are spending money on something with a lot lower labor component like a TV or something. But there is still someone with a job because of it, right? Why is it better for you to save that money rather than provide that worker with a job?
And even if that job is far away aren't we all one big global economy at some point?
2015-10-16T16:56:27+00:00 Erik Hare
I didn't mention it but it is often cited. In general I think the disposable income is up quite a lot year over year, which has to help. 2015-10-16T16:32:40+00:00 Erik Hare
You know I'm with you on a personal level - we do have too much crap. But this really is a critical economic indicator and we can't just dump it overnight without a lot of pain.
I have been wondering if people's habits are changing - buying less, buying more artisan works, etc. The reason we had several weak Christmases may have at least something to do with a gradual change away from a buying frenzy. But I have zero data on that despite looking every year. What I can say is that sales at big stores are lagging the overall growth.
Meanwhile, let's all buy a really nice piece of art from some craftsman for the people we love and enjoy some time loafing by the fire. :-)
2015-10-16T16:32:00+00:00 Erik Hare
We need to stop playing games, yes. 2015-10-12T17:36:31+00:00 Erik Hare
Fair enough, but our interest is definitely in peace. Whether or not we have promoted it properly is another question and I'm willing to hear arguments. The problem I have is that players on both sides now have no interest in peace, which is troubling.
As for the rebels having a chance, they were about to topple Assad, or so it seemed, two months ago. Their advances were impressive. That is why Russia got involved directly - something they have not done since Afghanistan in 1979.
2015-10-12T17:36:10+00:00 Erik Hare
Hardly a smoking gun. Seriously, Assad started this with a brutal crackdown when starving kids put graffiti on a wall. In the early days of this conflict there was no sectarian element to it at all - so how can they say we "ignited" it?
The Saudis, on the other hand, did turn it into a sectarian conflict. We at least looked the other way when they did and possibly aided them - though there is no evidence to support that.
There is no evidence in this article that we "started" this war at all. Sorry, I don't buy that one bit.
2015-10-12T03:03:41+00:00 Erik Hare
The West didn't create Assad, though. Are you also saying the US started this? 2015-10-12T02:16:18+00:00 Erik Hare
I don't think we "started" this war, no, but we apparently looked the other way when the Saudis armed the rebels. I know that a lot of people think we are responsible for this but I don't see it that way. 2015-10-12T01:58:11+00:00 Erik Hare
Good point, it isn't really that different. It just looks worse. 2015-10-09T17:43:39+00:00 Erik Hare
Not yet we don't. :-)
Seriously, that is a good point. My only response is that it can't be worse.
2015-10-09T17:43:11+00:00 Erik Hare
It's all a horrible way to run anything. 2015-10-08T17:57:21+00:00 Erik Hare
I was thinking about writing on that topic next, actually! 2015-10-07T19:46:58+00:00 Erik Hare
I already have - there's a blank post up here somewhere. :-) 2015-10-07T19:46:40+00:00 Erik Hare
Sure have. :-) 2015-10-07T19:46:09+00:00 Erik Hare
Two things come to mind - the first is that our government needs to track proper "investment" debt muc