An interesting read about the poor in the US

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wrote:

Think about it. The poor have these toys. Xbox, cable TV, microwaves, cars, etc. So that means they're not poor. There are no poor people! Pretty easy to see the motive here. Cut government spending on poor people however possible. Because they aren't poor! I don't like spending on "welfare" myself. But the answer to that is jobs. The problem with that is to get good jobs back here requires taking a whip to the "free trade" principles these guys got rich from. Not that Obama is any better, being surrounded by Wall Streeters. So outfits like the Heritage Foundation are fighting a losing battle anyway. America will always take care of the poor to prevent rioting and subsequent "socialism," and just become more of a welfare state until jobs come back. Look at the food stamp program. Walmart is the biggest employer in the U.S. Check out how many Walmart employees are on food stamps. And Medicaid. You think Walmart wants food stamps to go away? The big "capitalist" is a living example of "socialism." hehe.
--Vic
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Another myth easily busted. The poverty rate today is just slightly higher than it was before. It's varied from about 12% to 15% over the last 40 years through boom or bust. It's also just about where it was before Johnson declared war on poverty and the govt spent trillions on welfare over the next 40 years. So, if the economy were at full employment, instead of 15% you'd have 13%. Better? Yes. But the answer to poverty? No way.

You need to look at the other side of the equation. Today that family living in poverty can buy an air conditioner for $100. If it and all the other cheap things that can be bought from abroad cost twice that because we erect trade barriers, are they going to be better off or worse off?
Also, I think everyone pretty much agrees that one thing that made the Great Depression worse was passing trade barriers trying to do exactly what you propose.

Poverty went from 13% to 15% from this recession. Clearly, linking the vast majority of poverty to the availability of jobs is nonsense.

I'd be interested in seeing data on how many Walmart employees are on food stamps and Medicaid. You have it? It really doesn't matter, as there will always be people on govt programs working part-time in minimum wage jobs for one reason or another.
BTW, since you're so pissed off about jobs, what about what Obama is doing to Boeing? Unlike the simple research article that has your shorts in a knot, which really affects nothing, the Obama administration is doing everything it can to block Boeing from opening it's plant in SC to build parts for the new 787. They are doing it because a union in WA state claims Boeing built the $1 bil plant there to retaliate for a strike years ago. Nice job, no? Screw around not only with the jobs in SC, but also those of the entire 787 program throughout this country and the world. Then Obama complains when companies like Boeing move jobs overseas.
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On Wed, 14 Sep 2011 14:33:50 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Never said anything about answering poverty. Said jobs is the answer to welfare. Only change I'll make is to change "jobs" to "decent-paying jobs." Food stamps and Medicaid is welfare to me. That's about doubled since this "recession" started. Then I'll change "answer to that" to "answer to reducing that." Just to keep your nitpicking ass happy.
You'll always have some poverty. Unemployment is high, and poverty is up. Charts always show that correlation. Any stats you have above are bogus - too many variables in how unemployment and poverty stats are tallied. Besides that, low wage jobs still qualify people for welfare but don't show up in the unemployment figures. Decent paying jobs will knock it down to the usual levels. Low-wage jobs for multiple wage-earner families will do the same. Jobs and poverty is always related. I was poor when I didn't have a job. Don't know if I was counted. That was in 1983. Record unemployment and record poverty level under Ronald Reagan. That's when "street people" began appearing all over downtown Chicago. Go find a moron to tell that high unemployment is unrelated to welfare and poverty. Won't work with me. Got no idea why you call it a myth, and won't be rude in speculating. You're the first person I've ever encountered who says not having a job is unrelated to poverty. Everybody else knows better. Without high unemployment pushing it up, poverty gets little press. Might not matter now, with Xboxes and cable TV making it acceptable. According to the Heritage Foundation anyway.

I'd rather they were working and paying $300 for the A/C, or going without, than living off public money. Productive work is good for the soul, and the economy. Doing it your way just leads to more people on welfare. That's exactly what's happening right now. And it's going to get worse. So don't complain when you get it your way.

I proposed nothing except taking a whip to the free traders who think shipping 50,000 factories to China in the last decade was a good idea. Al Gore used that Smoot-Hawley argument to get NAFTA passed. Usual "free trader" ploy. Of course nobody was talking about Smoot-Hawley to Gore, and I didn't mention it here either. BTW, Milton Friedman disagrees with you about the effect of trade barriers on the Great Depression.

You sound just like Al Gore, with his Smoot-Hawley. Nobody mentioned "vast majority" except you. Haven't I already taught you that your Al Gore bullshit don't work with me?

Google it. As I recall you can find state stats on Walmart, Kroger, et al employees on Medicaid and stamps. I remember seeing it for Ohio and maybe Alabama.

I'm retired, no mortgage, have plenty of money in the bank, two pensions counting SS, and good health insurance. My kids are all working with good jobs and insurance. Why would I be pissed? Doesn't mean I don't want other Americans getting jobs. It's just natural. I'm an American. A vet even. Good citizen. Seems you're the one with his panties in a wad. What got you? Walmart living off socialism?

You never saw me say anything good about Obama. He's just another Wall Street yuppie to me. Like you, he thinks free trade is good because people can buy cheap goods, even if it's put them on welfare. Surrounded himself with Bush people. The guy doesn't have a clue. But here's something to bunch your panties. As bad and disgusting as Obama is to me, I don't think there's a Republican out there who can even hold his jockstrap. Larry Holmes said that about Marciano. He was probably right too. Then he apologized for saying it. Wanted more fights. You won't get an apology from me. I'm retired.
--Vic
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Yes, there is a correlation. But poverty has varied from between 12% and 15%. The point is this recession or any recession has some effect on poverty. It's risen to 15%, which is worse than the 40 year low of 12%, but obviously the core problem of poverty is not recession or economy related.

Figures you'd reject official measures of poverty in favor of just making crap up as you go.

Yes, as I'll point out one more time, poverty in this terrible recession is 15%. In the times of a booming economy and full employment it was 12%. A relationship? Sure. The cause of most poverty? No.
And where do you expect those decent paying jobs to come from for people with little education and no skills? That's the problem.

It was not record unemployment, nor record poverty. For example the poverty rates in the 1950's were far higher. And that was a time when better paying jobs were available to the uneducated and unskilled.
Unemployment did briefly rise under Reagan as he cleaned up the mess he inherited. Arguably as bad as what Obama inherited. Inflation out of control, high interest rates, and a stalling economy. The difference which you obviously missed is that by this time in the Reagan administration his economic turnaround was well under way and new jobs were being created. When he took office, unempoyment was as 7.5%. When he left office unemployment was at 5.4%, inflation was sharply reduced and interest rates had been cut in half. America's respect in the world was restored and he won the cold war without firing a shot.

One more time. I never said it was unrelated, only that poverty rises slightly because of it. As for morons, I gave you numbers for poverty based on actual govt data. Data that economists use. What data to you have on poverty?

What I called a myth is that most poverty is caused by a lack of jobs and that jobs being available will cure it.

Follow your ideas and we all will be paying $300 for that AC and most of those in poverty will still be in poverty. Poverty was much higher in the 1950's for example when the makeup of the economy was more to your liking, ie good jobs for the uneductated and unskilled.

What good jobs would your propose for people who are uneducated and unskilled?

I'd like to see the reference for that claim.

I'll bet you bitched big time when the Republican Congress forced Clinton to "end welfare as we know it." Yet that change which was supposed to be a disasster according to the libs was an overwhelming success. It helped end 30 years of having one generation after another on the welfare dole.

I thinnk it's obvious that Al Gore's thinking and party affiliation is a lot closer to yours than mine.

In other words, despite throwing around claims, you have no data.

Now that shows how out of touch you are. Where exactly did that fact come from? Names of those Bush people please.
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On Thu, 15 Sep 2011 15:23:51 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Haven't made anything up. No sense throwing out figures that can be interpreted different ways. The sure thing is unemployment increases poverty. Can't be disputed.

Except for the depression, Reagan oversaw the highest unemployment. I predict Obama or the next President will get the new record. The 50's was a different world in America. Still mostly rural. You'd expect poverty to be high. I was running around naked in the Ozarks, bathing in a washtub filled with bucket well water, and going to town once a week with grandpa to get ice for the icebox. Wasn't that unusual either. Only ate meat once or twice a week.

He didn't win the cold war. Myth. The Polish Pope, Solidarity, VCR's and the natural advancement of free world technology crumbled the Soviets. The old guard died off, and the new leaders saw they couldn't keep the people locked up. Unsustainable system in a modern world. Reagan just happened to be there. I saw the first crack appear in the '70's when Carter's pressure led the Soviets to allow Jews to emigrate. The first time in Soviet history that external pressure affected internal policy. And I had family behind the curtain, in Poland. Watched it happening in slow motion. You go ahead and believe that Reagan myth is it suits you. The Reagan recession was just that, a recession. This ain't a recession. It's a sea change. The powers that be are just catching on to that. They are too dumbstruck to figure out solutions. Especially when solutions run against the grain of their experience.

You can easily find the poverty/unemployment stats. I'm not playing the "cite" game with somebody who wants to argue. Just leads to endless citing and cherry-picking. I don't care if you don't like that.

That entirely depends on level of unemployment. I suspect most poverty in the depression was caused by joblessness. And no, I don't want to argue about that. If you reject it, just call it a myth.

Different world in the 50's. Almost stone age. Hell, being cross-eyed might get you a lobotomy. You can decide what the breakeven point is on the A/C. Pay $300 for yours and less taxes for welfare, or $100 for yours and the taxes to buy millions more for welfare recipients. Not an easy calculation.

Factory jobs even in automated plants have plenty of work for the unskilled, and opportunities to get skilled. The multipliers add up big time from support logistics and salaries spent giving other companies business. Every job counts. Machine operators, fork-lift drivers, floor sweepers, and the guy running the lunch truck outside at noon. They all feed the service industries. But when you send 50,000 factories to China in the last decade all that is gone. I won't vouch for that figure. It's the one bandied about.

Wiki Smoot-Hawley.

You lost that bet. What is you don't understand when I say I don't like welfare?

You, Clinton, Gore and Bush are the great believers that $100 A/C's and high home ownership solves all problems. I'm the guy that thinks everybody who can work should be working instead of collecting welfare. Simple as that.

It's easily found. Don't know why you don't know it already.

Bernacke on one side and Geithner on the other qualifies as surrounding for me. Then you have other pure Wall Streeters like Daley, Summers, Rubin, Immelt, et al, working in advisory capacity. Nothing much changed from Bush or Clinton. Not much difference between Bush and Clinton, except Bush was a warmonger. The last good Dem President was Dick Nixon who wanted national health care, then Ronald Reagan, who actually forced the Jap car makers to locate plants here. The gov has been run by Wall Street for a long time, getting in high gear with Clinton. All the bubbles have burst, and too many of the production jobs are gone. We'll see when and if the economy can turn around. Unlike you I'll never cleave unto political parties or be repelled from them because of jerking knees. I always look at policy. There's no difference between R's and D's except at the margins. Wall Street money runs the show. The R's will cave to welfarism as readily as the D's when Wall Street and unrest tells them to. Otherwise they'll just be kicked out. --Vic
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Yeah, as he cleaned up the mess of the Carter years, ie unemployment already at 7.5% when Reagan took office, inflation at 18%, interest rates at 18%. Arguably the economy was in worse shape than it was when Obama took office. Getting that under control saw unemployment briefly rise to 10.4%.
Now let's look further at the comparison. That peak in unemployment ocurred in Dec 82, which was 16 months after Reagan's economic plan was signed into law. From that point on, a powerful recovery began and unemployment dropped continually for the remainder of his term. When he left office, it was down to 5.5% and both inflation and interest rates were down there too.
Now under Obama, it's been 31 months, or almost twice as long, and while the recession has ended, we have no real recovery. With Reagan's plan, 31 months later we had unemployment back down to 7.8%, or pretty close to where it was when Reagan took office with strong job numbers coming out. At 33 months unemployment was BELOW where it was when Reagan took office and we had some of the largest monthly jobs gains in history. With Obama, zippo on the jobs.

Possibly so if Obama keeps doing what he's been doing.

Sounds like Obama excuses. Yes it was different and one of the important differences were that there were plenty of those better paying jobs for the uneducated and unskilled. Yet you had much higher poverty than you do today, which shows that the link between jobs and poverty is not a strong one.

You are as ignorant about world events as you are economics. It was part of the Reagan plan to engage the pope and the administration secretly worked with him to use the Catholic church and the popes influence to support the freedom movement in Poland. Reagan also supported Solidarity, both openly and covertly. Perhaps most importantly any access people in the Soviet Union had to news of the West through those VCRs or technology showed a re-invigorated America, with a booming, free economy. What would they have seen with Jimmy Carter? Gas lines, rising unemployment, 18% inflation, 18% interest rates, and a president blaming it all on the malaise of the American people.
Reagan also directly plowed them under by engaging them in an arms race they could not even keep up with, let alone win. He screwed them in Afghanistan, by bleeding them there. All in all, he came into office rejecting the notion that every other president had accepted, which was that it was OK to just maintain the status quo of the cold war. He told his staff he wanted to WIN it and put in place the plans to do it.

Sure, dream on.

You go ahead and place the blame for the recession on Reagan and minimize it too, since it suits you. He had an economy out of control due to the failed policies of Carter. Inflation was 18 PERCENT. So were interest rates. Just like this recession, that was no ordinary recession either.

The solutions are right there and the same as they have always been. Get govt out of the way. Stop imposing new regulations, new costs, eg Obamacare on people at the worst possible time.
I see you never commented on how Obama is screwing Boeing and the people seeking 1000 jobs in South Carolina. What's up with that? Obama could fix that by firing the NLRB and announcing to the press that he's not going to allow govt bureaucrats to stand in the way of jobs. That would send the DOW up 300 points. Instead, it's the Republicans in the House working on legislation to direct the NLRB to sit down and shut up.

Of course you won't because the data shows you don't know what you're talking about.

I thought the discussion was about here and now. One more time, poverty has fluctuated from 12% to 15% over the last 4 decades. Yes, the highs were during periods of higher unemployment like now. But clearly the 12% core if you will, is not jobs dependent. Nor has the 8 trillion spent since 1965 done much to eliminate poverty as it's still about what it was back then.

You're the one apparently seeking to make that calculation and act on it, not me.

Some work, sure. Plenty no. You can't take a guy that is a janitor and put him in a semiconductor fab or have him doing repair work on robots.

Perhaps it's time to deal in facts rather than what is bandied about. I agree that the more factories here the better. So, once again, what about how Obama is screwing Boeing? What message does that send to all companies. Let's see. I can build that new factory in the USA and not only have to deal with all the existing regulations, but now contend with agencies like the NLRB preventing me from using it..... or I can build the factory overseas where they welcome it and encourage it with tax breaks, etc.

Once again, I'm not doing your research for you. You made the claim, you back it up here with an excerpt and link stating what you claim.

Unbelievable. No facts, just bitching based on beliefs. As for thinking everyone who can work should, I'd say Clinton, Gore and Bush all hold that same view too.

Two equals surrounding? Geithner's role in the 8 years of Bush was limited to a few months near the end in 2008 when he assisted Treasury Secretary Paulson in some of the bailout work. Hardly makes him a Bush guy.
Bernacke was reappointed by Obama. What exactly is your beef with him?

Those guys were NOT Bush guys.

Like I'm not looking at policy. It becomes political because one party right now has mostly correct policy ideas and the other mostly the wrong policy ideas.
And as for policy, I'd suggest founding policies on fact, not just random comments thrown around. Sadly, you are short on facts.

Totally untrue. The Republicans see a budget that has grown by 40% in 4 years and want to reduce spending because it's bankrupting the country. They want to reduce govt regulations that are killing the economy, eg Boeing. They recognize that SS and Medicare are going broke and have actually put forth plans to deal with that.
The Dems? They want to spend MORE. They want more regulation. More govt involvement in the economy, picking winners and losers, eg $500bil gone in 2 years at Solyndra. And the only plan they have for SS and Medicare is to attack any Republican who does have a plan.
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On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 05:54:00 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"
I snipped your Dem bashing and Reagan/Rep ass-kissing. Also snipped whatever I said, so I'll consider that trash too. Looks like we're done. Good.
--Vic
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You find any facts yet?
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One of the shots at Medicare "reform" during the Bush years included Congress specifically funding a troop of FBI agents to deal with nothing but MCare fraud. The results have been spotty at best.

And also causing us problems. If you look at manufacturing output, even measured in constant dollars, it has actually gone up since the 80s. What has happened is mfg productivity gains since then have cut the number of JOBS. We haven't lost nearly as many mfg jobs to the Chinese as we have to the Robots.


And name one country where the government has actually been able to act as a counterbalance to the boom and bust cycle? I haven't seen it.

shipped
Not really. See above.

My guess is that they will do what the Dems are doing now and blame the other party. Pretty much a given. Don't know why you even bothered to ask the question (g).
--
People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
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find
I guess if we tried it once and it wasn't a blockbuster hit we should just give up. (-; We've really got that sort of mentality in this country (no offense). If a TV show isn't an instant hit, cancel it. If a movie doesn't have people seeing it three times on opening day, it's a flop headed straight for DVD and cable. And one you should know very well: If a drug isn't a blockbuster, a pharmaceutical company's stock drops as fast as a 'Jersey Shore' girl's panties.

Gone."
are
http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/business/productivity%20health.png
The paradox of productivity. We had better find a way out of this puzzle before we collapse because without jobs, what will people use to pay for robot created goods? I see a totally mechanized future where factories produce stuff, robot consumers buy it, smash it, recycle the pieces so that more stuff can be made and sold ad infinitum. Robots would never have a credit crunch or lose faith in the economy and would always do what they are told. I know because in sixth grade I played the part of Dr. Fabry in "Rossum's Univeral Robots." (-: And proved to myself that acting was NOT in my future. It gave me great respect for people who can memorize both their lines and their cues. It really is a skill/gift or whatever. But as always, I digress.
<stuff snipped>

act
You're living in one. While it can't affect an instant change, the government can soften the blow considerably. Without the stimulus spending, food stamps, Medicare/caid, Headstart, SSA, etc. we would be in far, FAR worse shape than we are. Ironically, a lot of those payments to the poor (like Section 8 housing assistance) end up in the hands of middle class landlords, merchants and service employees (the trickle UP theory). Ending these programs is going to affect a lot more people than just the poor.
When the economy crashed in the 30's there was real and valid concern that the nation would go socialist. There's no guarantee that won't happen again, especially if all those programs are cut to the bone. If God forbid some white supremacist killed Obama, the country would go up in flames the next day.
The Federal government may not be the perfect counterbalance, but it's a hell of lot more effective than anything else except massive wars, and they counterbalance economic woes by ways that most people don't really want. Rationing, destruction and killing. Most economists believe that the stimulus did have an effect and cushioned a lot of the fall. We'll know how true that is when the stimulus money runs out and Congress stalls on any jobs package. I'd rather see my tax dollars pay a guy to clear underbrush or scrape and paint bridges than sit at home collecting unemployment. I believe our infrastructure was rated a "D" in a recent engineering survey. We invented the Internet but we're 25th behind S. Korea when it comes to broadband access.
We're too far distant from WWII for anyone but the very oldest to really remember how bad that was. I am afraid that's where we are heading. It's all part of the boom/bust cycle. When a country is "busted" bad enough like Germany, bad things follow. Lots of the same situations that preceded WWII are falling into place. The players are different but the issues are the same: borders, control of resources, monetary woes, etc.

I believe it's like the issue of "was it Reagan tax cuts or the creation of an entire new sector of the economy, personal computers, that led to some very golden years?" It's a little bit of both. You only have to examine the computer you're typing this on to realize that it's made in China like so many other things. It's a basic effect of competition. Robots are expensive. People are actually cheaper in many ways. When it came to checking out the damage at Fukushima, they didn't send in robots. Too costly. They sent in people. )-:

they
I
Yeah. But at what point will people realize that those jobs aren't coming back no matter WHO they vote for? When you're given a pink slip, it doesn't really matter to you whether it was a Chinese worker or a robot who took your job. It's gone, baby, gone. Can we keep switching parties forever before someone notices that the old grey mare, she ain't what she used to be and some serious change is required?
One possible end to the decline could be when Chinese wages rise to meet the declining American wages. That's a fugly situation. If I had the heart I'd take the average world hourly wage and project where the US average might end up.
-- Bobby G.
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just
(no
I thought that was the definition of the US Congress . . .
-- Bobby G.
*CAPODANNO, VINCENT R. Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, Chaplain Corps, 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Quang Tin Province, Republic of Vietnam, 4 September 1967. Born: 13 February 1929, Staten Island, N.Y. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno attempted to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire.
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A form of insanity.
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People thought cybersex was a safe alternative,
until patients started presenting with sexually
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On Fri, 16 Sep 2011 12:11:17 -0400, "Robert Green"

"Congress" is the antonym of "progress".
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On Thu, 15 Sep 2011 07:13:28 -0400, "Robert Green"

Don't forget a big part of your taxes goes to the defense industry and other so-called "capitalist" companies. Most of this stuff talked about is available at thrift stores for relative peanuts. I don't know about Xboxes and DVR's, and of course even used cars cost some bucks. I don't know how welfare money works, but it doesn't take much. Before companies dropped the suit dress policy, I wore thrift store suits to work for years. I'm medium size and easy to fit. Cost 5-10 bucks each. Name labels, including Brooks Brothers. Dry cleaning cost more than the suit. These weren't beat up suits. No detectable wear. I always figured they were suits outgrown when the owner got fat, or dead men's suits. Main reason they end up in a thrift store. My wife loves shopping these stores, so she did all the "work." Except for a $250 wool overcoat I bought new when I became a "bigshot," shoes, socks and skivvies I always buy new, everything else I've worn is thrift shop. Ties, shirts, pants, jackets, winter coats, sweaters. Funny thing is the reaction I've gotten from workmates when they like my suit and ask where I bought it. Looks of total incomprehension. Oddly or not, foreigners are most shocked, especially when I guess it's a dead man's suit. I always bought electronics new, but one of my kids, who has about 8 computers running at any time, just brought me a perfect 20" IBM flat screen he picked up at Goodwill for 15 bucks. I put my working but hugely hulking 20" CRT at the curb. Paid about $400 for that some years ago. Anyway, I think many people won't get caught dead in a thrift store. But it's okay to go to a garage sale. Lest I've made thrift store shopping sound easy, it's not. I don't do it. Can't stand it. My wife loves browsing at them, and goes once or twice a week. The downside is the containers of bric-a-brac in the basement. So you need the right wife.

My opinion is that those who were never personally involved in manufacturing have no idea of it's importance as a job multiplier. The same goes for data processing and even call desk work. Every job adds other work. I benefitted and retired from the computer boom. No different than manufacturing, salaries drove much of it overseas. It was well underway when I retired, and has only accelerated. Wall Street "shareholder value" has driven all of this. I suspect it will happen as you say with "global leveling." There are alternatives, but as long as Wall Street remains pumped up they will reign, as they own the pols. Which means the U.S. will increasingly turn to welfare instead of work.
The big danger is loss of technical expertise. Not only are foreigners doing much of the old language programming for "American" companies, but they lead the way in cutting edge technologies. I'm not an engineer, but suspect the same is increasingly true in many engineering fields. There are serious national security implications to offshoring too much, and I'm guessing we are already there. MAD still has relevance, and I hope the Red Chinese don't too uppity. --Vic
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This is from Forbes: http://tinyurl.com/63texnw
The basic thrust of the article is we (U.S.) don't measure poverty uniformly over time.
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<stuff snipped>

your
To understand that requires understanding both history AND cause and effect. What are the chances with certain individuals? (-:
-- Bobby G.
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Steve B wrote:

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/09/13/3365248/conservative-think-tank-says-most.html

Inconceivable!
http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/item/you-keep-using-that-word--i-do-not-think-it-means-what-you-think-it-means
-Bob
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Nice.
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