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Steve Gibson
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I see "professonal" as meaning someone who will reliably judge his/her employer's interests and act to protect them, in a domain where the employer can not rely on their own judgement. (Maybe what is provided is expertise, maybe attention.) This describes Turb's examples, also how investment managers and accountants should act. (I have worked in engineering for 30 years, after being educated as a scientist. This is based on the standards I had to learn on the job because I wasn't trained in this in college.)
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The most hopeful scenario I can see is that after Obama is re-elected deadlock continues with a rigid Congress, probably both chambers led by Republicans. Unable to agree on anything, all the tax cuts expire, even the Social Security tax. We get the austerity that the Republicans pay lip service to but really don't want. (Except Huntsman.) Austerity will be really hurt employment, but probably less in the long run than a continued explosion of federal debt would. If Obama is re-elected, the health care bill will actually be implemented. Republicans might send Obama bills to constructively correct the worst unintended effects. (Yes, in a deadlock scenario this is very wishful.) Between federal austerity, including the removal of harmful tax cuts, and slight health care economizing, America makes the relatively small changes needed to again become solvent.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2012 on what about huntsman? at Obsidian Wings
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I've been away from OW for a while, getting disenchanted with the Democrats but unable to take the Republicans seriously. I assumed that the 2009 stimulus would solve the recession, but it has not. The 2008 financial collapse hit harder than we realized at the time. The time window for deficit-driven stimulus is closing, as more and more baby boomers like me retire. Both parties are turning out their bases with dangerous principles: Democrats against ANY benefit cuts and Republicans against ANY tax increases. I agree with Bruce Bartlett and Joe Klein that Obama is the closest choice we have to a moderate Republican (as defined back when Republicans didn't govern as deadbeats). Federal health insurance is going to explode in cost. Reducing the cost per person would help, but those profiting from the high costs of health care in America will resist any change that squeezes them. The health care bill is better than nothing, but very weak. I am hoping that Obama will squeak by against a divisive opponent. Fortunately all the GOP candidates who play to primary voters are very divisive, even Romney. The candidate who has the right enemy, in my opinion is Buddy Roemer, and he is even weaker than Huntsman. Our representatives are efficiently compromised by any group that can hire a lobbyist. Health care reform and preventing repeats of financial fraud/collapse/bailout have been hollowed out. Huntsman seems wrong to me, in that he is very hard against federal regulation. I have not given up on federal regulation as an answer to structural problems like America's uniquely high health care costs and a financial system that is out of control and rewarding speculation and fraud. Lobbying Congress and the executive is twisting regulation into a source of competitive advantage. (Actually Ayn Rand called this out in Atlas Shrugged. Her irony challenged admirers today ignore that she did not admire all businessmen.) Jack Abramoff's recent talk at Harvard that was shown on CSPAN surprised me by being a credible explanation of this problem. Something is wrong with how the federal government regulates, but I haven't yet been convinced that effective regulation is impossible by Huntsman and the GOP conventional wisdom. I believe that somehow we need to move the law in the opposite direction as Citizens United, perhaps deeming corporations non-persons. Currently all elected politicians, including Obama, are largely compromised by their campaign contributions. BTW, I don't see Huntsman as close to Romney. Huntsman is the only one who regularly calls out Romney's promises to slap China around on trade as unfeasible in the practical world, where China can retaliate. In other ways, there seems to be a particular contempt between them.
Toggle Commented Jan 1, 2012 on what about huntsman? at Obsidian Wings
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Jan 1, 2012