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understudy
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"We have nothing to replace the huge amount of construction and consumption demand created by the $8 trillion housing bubble" Why Yes - it is psychological! If only we had another bubble to increase spending/"investment" towards would that $8t hole be filled. You Brad, and Krugman think more Solyndra, high speed rail to nowhere, and other rent seeking "investment" in DC lobbyists will fix that hole, a lot of other folks disagress ...
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It isn't that hard to understand - there was an unsustainable mortgage debt bubble in the US which boosted consumption, capital spending, government tax revenues and a host of other economic activities that was based on the fact that housing prices never decline in the US (or more specifically California in the 20th century). Trying to get us back on that growth path? Find the next bubble thing that can be loaded up with a lot of debt to support "investment" and consumption that we won't know if it works for 10 years. Obama made a good start with the preschool plan - easy to spend billions with no results, encourage entrepreneurs to start new businesses, etc., etc. But to get back to 4% real GDP growth, we'll need another tech bubble or something ...
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But given the inability for the government to actually (absent a dot com boom) do deficit reduction at "full employment", the response is rational. Telling politicians they can spend money because it is good results in a very short term boost to rent seeking industries that sound good to politcians, hell bent on picking winners (donors) and losers (non-donors). Even if the stimulus had been 100% payroll tax deduction (which would have been more efficient and effective), there is no credibility or evidence that a modern US government will grow spending less than taxes over a 4-8 year period.
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The call to boost homeownership was a "public good" supported by folks across a wide range of political strikes. Who doesn't support more home owners, puppies or apple pie? Is 8% high? Yes, that is why investment in multi family homes are accelerating and I would not bet on those rates staying that high for long. In the meantime, millions of middle class families borrowed billions of dollars from german savings banks through defunct wall street firms and aren't going to pay it back. who screwed whom?
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"As we can see, the rate of cost increase for public four-year universities was the most rapid of all. One big reason for that, of course, is reduced state support of higher education" You fail the expert witness test you self-interested shill for california public universities ;-) No the bigger driver of public tuition increases at four universities is a suicidal race to the top in administrative and facility expenses justified by rankings (US Snooze) and ratings (credit agencies). Berkeley provided a better education at a cheaper cost in the past. A billion or two more from sacramento wouldn't improve either of those metrics...
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" very effectively to discredit organized collective action such as that carried out under the umbrella of trade unions or governments, presenting unions and governments as obsolete bodies whose sole purpose is to restrict choices." No, not restrict choice, but the sole reason Walmart is the poster child for so much of what is "wrong" with America is because they have taken on the oligpoly of the grocery industry, which is unionized. Unions first concern is not where you shop, but rather that their members make above market wages. Walmart has threatened that, so the unions will do whatever they can in their legal power to make you not want to Walmart, but rather some other unionized grocery chain. This story resonates with the American left much stronger than the bigger loss of unionized jobs - Americans have ended up reducing their choice, and destroying a lot of union jobs, by stopping the use of landline phones, in favor of something call "celluar". If only people would realize that they might lose the option to make a landline or telegraph communication by switching to the newest technology everytime it comes along ...
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I read Ruffing's pape briefly, but came away with different conclusions. DI rates have gone up, substantially since 1975, completely ignoring the noise around the changes in definitions during the Reagan years. Secondly, the increase in women in the workforce makes no difference. All the DI % is based on ELIGIBLE population. When women weren't in the workforce, they weren't included as Eligible. Now they are, and they are included in both the numerator and denominator, shouldn't change the rate of DI among eligible population.
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"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Kind of like asking democrats of their reflexive support for mandating union construction wages that benefit white males at the expense of ... well everyone else. Or when Obama was "undecided" about gay marriage in 2006, but supported it in 2012. What politcians say doesn't matter, what they do can make the difference.
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polemicist ... sounds right "Second, it would devastate charitable giving" says who? and even if true, so what? Tax expenditures, tax preferences are BS, if they support rich second homes or professors with million dollar state pension and UNTAXED tuition discounts for children.
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"Since then the costs of higher education have been rising at an extraordinarily rapid pace in the United States, as government subsidies are withdrawn, and as private colleges react to rising sticker costs of public colleges by raising their own sticker prices" Do you really believe that? I don't. Private college tuition has risen at a faster rate than public in my state, and Stanford could care less what Berkeley charges, and private schools try to link the value of their education to the elite schools, not the state schools ...
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Aug 30, 2012