What They Said

Some links today. Click through – there’s always lots more goodness waiting.

  • Hullabaloo (Digby), QOTD: Robert Borosage: “There is an idiocy about our current national politics that is simply stupefying. We are sitting idly, watching, and suffering, as our nation disintegrates into a run-down backwater.” (See also, Daily Kos, A bridge falling into the water and a vision for the future gone missing)
  • DownWithTyranny!, Can The Democrats Retake The House Next Year?“: “One of the easiest districts for a Democrat to win would be FL-27, the seat now held by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. But there is no recruitment; there is anti-recruitment. DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made it abundantly clear to Florida Democrats that she will not tolerate anyone credible running against Ileana, who, like her, is owned by the sugar baron Fanjul brothers. Last year Obama’s 7 point margin in FL-27 was one of the highest margins of victory in any district held by a Republican Member of Congress. But Wasserman Schultz had the DCCC make sure there would be no viable candidate.”
  • Political Animal, Apple: Living the Lie: “I have three laws of politics. I don’t know if they explain everything, but they often explain something, and that’s enough for me. Malanowski’s First Law of Politics is that the rich and powerful will always act in their own self interest. Malanowski’s Second Law is that the rich and powerful will then get the rest of us to act in their interest as well, usually by making us believe that we hold this interest in common. Malanowski’s Third Law is that when the rest of us figure out ways to act in our own self-interests, the rich and powerful are likely to outlaw whatever we’ve come up with.”
  • Greek Yogurt considered dangerous (for the environment): Modern Farmer, Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side (via NakedCapitalism, Links 5/25/13).

OK, enough gloom and doom.

What? You miss the gloom and doom?

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4 Responses to What They Said

  1. Re: Hullabaloo (Digby)

    We may need infrastructure repairs, but I am doubtful it would be a panacea for unemployment. There is a lot of road work going on in my area, as well as new building construction. I see a handful of men building miles of road with dozens of large machines. I see a dozen men building multi-story buildings by assembling large pieces (made in China?) in place with large cranes.

    The images some have in their minds of the interstate highways and bridges being built by thousands of men with shovels and rivet guns in their hands is antiquated, and not the modern truth. This is reflected in the antiquated use of the term “shovel ready,” as nobody really uses shovels anymore.

    Second, unlike the interstate highway system, which did create new markets, fixing our current infrastructure is not going to create anything new, it is only going to maintain the status quo. Even rail system expansion is not going to have much effect on urban sprawl as the new highway system once did.

    In other words, once the project is done, that’s it, and the workers are out of a job once again with no economic growth resulting from the project to create new jobs.

    There may be small projects here and there that would have long term economic impacts on the local community, but the argument that a massive spending spree on infrastructure will revitalize the nation’s economy is simply not credible.

    And finally, nobody trusts the government to get it done (think Boston’s “big dig”). Unless we privatize large infrastructure projects, they simply won’t get done or will be death traps.

    • This leaves out the Keynesian effects of the employment — it creates more jobs via a multiplier effect. (Plus we save lives by bridges and stuff not collapsing under, or on, us.)

  2. Earl Killian says:

    If you are collecting nutshell political theories, here’s one of mine in the form of a simile: “We are like lambs heading out to graze each day, arguing over which corner of the fenced pasture is best, not noticing that the fence is shifting ever closer to the slaughterhouse. In contemporary democracies, it is not the lambs who rule, but the fence makers.”

    Or another way to look at it: “Democracy is a soccer game in which the ball is the electorate, the players are the politicians, and the team owners are the winners, regardless of the score. We are kicked, headed, and thrown, and play only a minor role in the outcome.”

  3. Vic says:

    Numbers 2 & 3 are essentially and example and a restating, respectively, of my own political theory which I’ve mentioned here many times.

    Until you truely believe it, you will never understand politics or the behavior of politicians. My theory has yet to be shown untenable by any politician. Certainly by anybody as transparent as Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

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