Dick Sharpe is among that rare breed of men who crawled their way out of the gutter and in to the academic and political elite. Despite this accomplishment, Dick retains his sharpe wit and sense of low-brow humor that makes him such a great contributor to Step Aside Show Blog and Podcast. Although Dick is a wicked charmer, whose sexual exploits are still the talk of Yale, Columbia, and a small town in a northern border province of Iraq, he is also a domesticated man living with with two handsome yet annoying sons and his wicked hot but equally annoying wife in Seattle. Dick is an accomplished academic writer, an award-winning poet and a self-proclaimed wordsmith, a battle-tested Combat Officer of the US Army, as well as a world-renowned alcoholic. Working mostly in the public sector, Dick continues to use his unique set of skills to better the life of his fellow compatriots. Mr. Sharpe’s ideological beliefs are a bit at odds within themselves at times he is strong believer in social programs and liberal rights while at the same time a strong believer in neo-liberal economic policies and the power of the free market to shape the political landscape. Put simple Dick Sharpe is the kind of man men wish they could be, and women wish they can be with, but the truth is they can’t because there is only room enough for one Dick Sharpe in the World.
Paul Ryan is full of alot of things, missunderstandings is one of them. Paul Ryan the new repulican vice-presidential hopeful profess to like the music of Rage Against the Machine, he claims to not understand the lyrics. Apparently he does not understand the name of the band either. When Paul Ryan Rages Againts the Machine just what does the machine look like in his head? Is it big government, poor people on medicare, those states that make noodleing illegal?
No one was more thirlled by this than Rage Front man Tom Morello, who just yesturday penned a response to this news. “Paul Ryan’s love of Rage Against the Machine is amusing, because he is the embodiment of the machine that our music has been raging against for two decades.” Tom puts Ryan in good company, by comparing his missunderstanding to Charles Mansons love of the Beatles and Chris Christies love of Bruce Springsteen. Tom furthur zings Ryan in this quote “Ryan claims that he likes Rage’s sound, but not the lyrics. Well, I don’t care for Paul Ryan’s sound or his lyrics.” If you enjoyed those quotes you should read the full article (linked below), to see more of Tom’s zingers, proses, and analogies.
The new vice-presidential-hopeful Paul Ryan, stands for three things: Smaller Government, Lower Taxes (for rich bastards), and the right to Noddle. What is Noodling? you ask. Well, it’s retarded. No seriously, it’s when a redneck sticks his arm in to a hole at the bottom of a murky lake in the hopes that a catfish will bite his arm. There are a few dangers to noodling: for one, there’s a giant fish biting your arm with a sand-paper-like mouth, and that’s if everything goes according to plan. Second, if the Catfish is not home, you run the risk of a snapping turtle taking a digit off you catfish catcher. Third, you could meet up with a something less domesticated like carp or scale fish. Don’t look at me, you’re the one who asked!
Noodling is only legal in a dozen of states, Ryan’s home of Wisconsin is one of them and Texas is another. Big shocker there; I actually assume that the other ten states just didn’t know they had to make letting catfish bite your arm for fun illegal. Ryan seriously lauds this ridicules excuse for a sport (really more like an adolescent dare), suggesting it is an self-evident right of man, or something. This last June he opened a speech in Texas by praise in the recent reversal of the law by Governor Rick Perry, “ I want to say something about you Texans,” “Because you understand freedom, you now legally recognize a man’s right to catch a catfish with his own bare hands”.
Seriously though, if this doesn’t seem wrong on any moral, ethical, or common sense level I envy your ignorance. Oh, and the reason the catfish attack the hand being thrust into their home, that is where the male protects the eggs.
EAT MY BALLS, Steve. First, yes Europe will mutualize their debt in the near future, or the Euro will fail and Armageddon will rein. Second, there is no case in which a pure austerity plan has worked when not in conjunction with a stimulus plan or some other outside financial windfall. Third, the free market does not exist in a vacuum. Without a Central Bank and a strong federalized government or a trading partner with another capitalist state, capitalism wouldn’t work nearly as well as you think it does. The freemarket is like Tom Cruise, sure he looks nice and works hard but I am not going to leave him alone with my kids or my wife.
The role of the Federal Reserve is to stabilize wages and prices and maximize employment; this is often referred to as the dual mandate. The problem is that while it is possible to stabilize prices or maximize employment by themselves it is nearly impossible to do both at the same time. This is why it appears that the Fed cannot create jobs as if it were a anglo-teenaged wizard conjuring up breasts on his flat-chested best mate (look for Harry Potter and the Tits of Hermione on book shelves this Christmas). “create jobs” is a completly misunderstood term in the modern lexicon, let’s say instead encourage private sector growth.
Basically what a government and a Central Bank have to do to encourage private sector growth is incentivize investments in the right areas and discourage investments in others. One way this is accomplished is by lowering interest rates. What’s that you say, they are already near zero? Well, let’s make them negatives. Oh, you think that can’t be done? Well then, what if inflation rises, that would mean that money invested would be devaluing at the same rate it is gaining interest, or worse, faster, thus creating a short term negative interest rate. The only safe place to put money would be in long-term investments in physical and human capital, thus createing growth. However you may have noticed in this model I had to raise inflation, but inflation today is a damn site closer to the Fed’s target (2%) than the unemployment target (7%). But the Fed doesn’t actually raise inflation nor does the market really; this model just runs a higher risk of raising inflation.
The Fed’s current M.O. is to target inflation, over unemployment, hoping that stable wages and prices will eventually lead to increased growth. The Fed has the power to increase employment but it is not willing to if it means raising their inflation target. For one, they will lose credibility and two, fuck, what if inflation raises faster than employment? Hey, what the shit, I thought we were talking about Europe.
These are my last words on the subject. Germany has pledged to save the Euro, and since the Euro can’t stand without a higher level of cooperation in the European economy there is no choice but to mutualize their debt. It’s not the best choice, it’s the only choice. Seriously, spell out for me, Brooklyn Steve, how the fuck the Euro survives without a mutualization? And if you think that the Euro will collapse then tell me what happens next, who will stop runs on banks, who will be able to print and distribute new currency without panic, hording, or rapid inflation? Save the Euro, mutualize debt, and unite Europe, it’s the only way.
Of course there are those who don’t want to because it is not profitable for them or it goes against their ideology, but being a player in the global economy means doing things that need to be done. It is Ironic to me to think of Germany in this position, maybe because it was their depression that gave rise to Hitler in World War II tried and failed to bring all of Europe to its knees before him. And now Germany is a economic phoenix that rose from the ashes of despair and austerity to save Europe.
I am glad to see you are finally agreeing with me, good for you. Next month we will see how mutualizing Europe’s Debt will not only save the Euro but also make all of Europe more economically sound and competitive. Now to what you’re still wrong about, I didn’t say that people wouldn’t balk at merging Mexico in to the US. What I was saying is; if it had to happen it would. Since there is no foreseeable reason why this would take place I am willing to drop it.
The point you made about how scientific formulas don’t change when you change the scale of the equation, intrigued me. I was in the midst of a Google search for cases in which this is not true (I really think there are, by the way.) when I stopped myself. Economics is not a natural science, it is a social science, and there is a big difference between the two. Natural science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, are all based on the use of scientific methodology and use hard facts. Economics is a social science that is based on human behavior using previous lessons to explain the present and predict the future through statistical pontification. The 2007 crash has shown us that now more than ever our Economic system is interconnected with our financial system. This is to the point where the central bank or the US Federal Reserve is unable to control the few simple things it was supposed to have on lockdown, inflation and unemployment. I actually anticipate your reaction this statement more than random 80’s movie you’re going to use in the title.
Here’s a rundown of what happened on Mitten’s European Adventure:
First, in London he suggested there were some disconcerting developments leading up to the Olympics, which pissed of the London press.
Second, in Israel he nearly started a war with Iran.
Third, again in Israel, Mittens suggested that it was the Arabic culture of the Palestinians that left them impoverished while the Israelis prospered in the same country.
Finaly, he only took three questions from his traveling press core during the entire trip. The same press core revolted in Poland hurling questions at him during his visit to Warsaw’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This prompted Romney’s Press Secretary to tell the press core to “kiss my ass.” His reason was that this is a holy Polish site; political questioning and democratic process is disrespectful to the dead Pollock in the tomb.
Like I said, we are starting to agree on things. Now if you could just stop being so short-sighted and wrong about everything else. I don’t believe for a second that cultural barriers prevent any sort of unity in the modern economy. If anything, the European Union and United States has proven that multiculturalism is the new norm in building modern states. Furthermore, why exactly is it that Mexico and Canada can’t unify with the US under one government? I think the only reason this hasn’t happened yet has nothing to do with the culture and everything to do with economic necessity. In Europe there is a growing economic necessity, that is why this is not only a possibility but frankly inevitable. The EU has already proven that these diverse cultures, which in terms of the rest of the world share a long history of cohabitation, can work together for economic progress. The EU financial determinism created the strongest trading block in the world. That block has enriched the cultures of Europe and provided the economic stability to allow politically social- fiscally capitalist governments to prosper. Your rather naive to think this isn’t going to happen, with Spain’s bond yields soaring eventually the European Central bank is going to perform some sort bailout that would put the strong economies on the hook for the weak. I can’t see how this can end without mutualization, dissolving unification in Europe is just such a backwards move. The world always moves forward not backwards.
I’m sorry once again to stress the point that the recent global crisis has rewritten some, not all, of the economic theories. There are major differences between the national markets 100 years ago and global markets of today. One: scale; as you mentioned, we’re dealing in trillions now. Second, the world is getting flatter every day. You can lose ten times as much ten times as fast, exponentially. Furthermore on the flat world, employees around the world now compete on the global market; the ability to move jobs is just as easy as shipping goods across borders. Third, the cash nexus has essentially created, and with good economic sense in mind, a price for everything. Now people invest in nearly everything in an economy. This is similar to placing bets on everyday occurrences such as how much orange juice Florida will produce this quarter or will Jersey Shore’s ratings improve next week. These things combined means that the global economy is interconnected in a way that not even nations were interconnected 100 years ago. Nations and regulatory agencies need the same kind of interconnection to survive as well, this crisis if it continues long enough could create the need for a whole new era of Federalism.
You’re right about my statement on markets that create nations, it is a chicken-or-egg question, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I can probably name a few examples either way. The US was a market that became a nation. As a colony of Great Britain we produced raw materials to feed their industrialization, and when business men realized that we were being fucked twice in this deal through taxes and the suppression of our industrialization potential we rebelled. However, I must keep refraining that we are moving into a new epoch of world history where giant super governments will one day exist.
I don’t understand your rant on capitalism; it’s as if you blame the boat for hitting the iceberg and not the captain or crew. I give you that capitalism is flawed, but only when you think of it as a governing force and not a fiscal system. There is no reason to think that Capitalism and Socialism can’t exist in the same market, it’s successful all over Europe, despite recent events. I believe there is a proper mix of free market capitalism and with strong government oversight and social programs that can create a model society. No one can ever get it perfect, but that is why we are always trying. I also refuse to continue to entertain your nuclear approach to the pitfalls of capitalism until you give me an alternate system, and not that fiction Star Trek Egalitarian Society crap. Also tell me how you would solve the problem in Spain’s solvency?
While I actually think we are starting to agree, a little, sadly you’re still wrong. Your right again about Keynes and the throw-money-at-it-till-it-recovers philosophy, but that was 20th century thinking, and we are in a different game now. These are not Nation States participating in a Global Trade Markets these are Market States competing within the Global Capitalist Market. It is the market that creates the future of nation. I think this is actually inevitability, for the European Union to not only survive but also remain competitive it has to be as strong as the US and China. The only way to do that is to consolidate under a more United European Government. Even Germany Prime Minister Merkle said she would not talk about debt pooling unless the EU first agrees to an EU financial governing reformation. Therefore debt pooling, Euro Bonds, and increased distribution of financial authority are a political means to an economical ends.
As to the question of how to punish California, we don’t. Much like it’s now dethroned Governator, California will sulk along in the shadows, while still living it up on the borrowed government funds. Eventual the Economy will pick back up and everything will be forgotten. There will be yet more summer blockbusters with our old favorite action star, more real estate to inflate towards unsustainable levels and phantom wealth to be passed around so many up-and-coming technology companies. The only ones that will remember the lessons of their folly will be the ones that were hurt, however momentarily by their mistakes (and of course all the bastard children fathered along the way). As for government, I don’t think there is any way to stop governments from making bad decisions; it’s the only thing they are good at.
As for a Greece bailout, I’m not convinced that repayment with audit control is a good alternative. First, repayment in and of itself is harsh enough when you considered the amount and the time it will take that economy to recover. There are many nations in the global south that still owe repayment to the IMF for loans taken out in the 70’s. Second, with this audit control wouldn’t the larger country just enforce austerity measures in order to make back their investment at the expense of the Greek population. That could lead to despair, protest, guerilla warfare, terrorism, a sequel to My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and pandemonium.
Like I said, I do believe in moral hazards, but I think that the market punishes individuals not masses. In that line of thinking it is ok to provide some amnesty to nations under extreme conditions of their own making. Even with amnesty and or debt forgiveness there is still going to be enough loss of business, finances, savings, and pride to go around. These are the ones that will learn from mistakes, and it is academics that will study these practices, and politicians who will ignore those academics and do what is either popular or necessary to keep the market growing. That is new cycle of the Market States in a Global Capital Market, things get bigger or die. The EU is already one of the strongest trading blocks in the world market, if they shed nations, defunct the Euro, regress in unity, they will be shrinking. I just can’t imagine that happening in today’s market.
You’re right about the Keynes quote, however his way of thinking in a crisis was to act by not thinking long term. It is government’s responsibility to do whatever is in their power to get the economy moving again. Doing nothing or even worse engaging in contractual austerity plans, uhh Germany, is sacrificing the short term for the long term. Your advice to allow Greece and others to go tits up is not without its own set of long-term risks of wars, famine, and poverty as while as the short term systemic risks, like if the Greek default triggers Italy and France to follow with it. That would spell doom for the global economy and they would still probably end up mutualizing debt in a panic rather than a calm planned environment.
To defend Hamilton, although he was a failed dueler, he was a great political thinker. I am not so sure he was the first to divide the nation on states’ rights issue; I think slavery was the bigger issue there and also one of economic importance because a slave based labor pool later impeded the industrial revolution. For our argument take the case of California, basically the state is bankrupt because there are no property taxes and it was balls deep in the real estate market. Because California is backed by their good old Uncle Sam and shares the credit rating of the United States it can still guarantee protection and social services to its population. This is because while California is having a rough economic turn Texas is still producing growth. Three things are gained in uniting multiple regions and multiple markets under one finical system, you lower risk on default, create a more sustainable business cycle, and you diversify your economy to maximize growth potential.
I know that to the strong European countries this might seem like a bad idea, but if they did it now under calmer conditions they can bargain for more power and say in the governing body then if they did it under break-the-glass-in-case-of-emergency conditions. I am curious, what do you think will happen if the EU allows a default or kicks out a defaulter?
Here’s the deal, every time the United States or another part of Western Civilization gains even a small glimmer of economic growth, some small liberal-overly-social-debt-ridden nation in Europe teeters on the edge of insolvency. This throws the global market place it to a tail spin. Personally, as a member of a non-socialist nation I don’t enjoy being ass-banged by their debt problems while enjoying none of the social programs that go along with it.
A solution posed in the European summit on June 29th was to mutualize European debt so that the big successful and responsible countries, like Germany, will absorb the risk of smaller less successful and efficient countries. This will in theory calm the markets, spur growth and development throughout Europe, and strength the European Union, in the short run.
Now, ney sayers all proclaim that whatever is gained in the short run will be diminished in the long run when the larger more powerful countries in the EU will try to assert dominance over the smaller weaker and economic troublemakers. Others say that it is not fair because the risk absorbed by the larger nations is not their inherent problem.
I am for Europe mutualizing their debt, and I agree that it will cause a lot of problems in the long run, and it’s not fair. Just like famous economist John Maynard Keynes famously said “In the long we’re all dead.”, so fuck it. As for fairness, economics isn’t fair, golden parachutes aren’t, life isn’t fair. So eat a dick. I believe in moral hazard and that bailing out business and countries that make bad decisions is going to create problems in the long run, I just don’t care. We will burn that bridge when we come to it.
What if consolidating debt is the first step to setting up a strong federal body in Europe? It was Alexander Hamilton’s idea to consolidate the colonies debt in to the federal government budget after the Revolution, which seemed to work out. The individual states left without debt were able to borrow and grow infrastructure to support increased trade and more business.
The bottom line is this, if the global economic crisis has taught us anything it is that you have too big to survive. And yes there are those out there that say big banks, big corporations, and big moutains of debt got us into this mess. They very well might have, what I am suggesting is that we can get out of this mess by making banks, corporations, and debt even bigger.
Mitt Romney’s recent political campaign speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s annual convention was met with the same enthusiasm as Clay Akins last performance at the Apollo Theater. According attendees Mitten’s lost the crowd with his constant Obama bashing and failure to offer any hard policy changes other than the need to reform this and reform that. His pledge to repeal Obamacare drew Boos from the already lukewarm crowd.
This is probably the toughest audience that Mittens has seen in a while considering that the recent round of campaign has him almost strictly speaking to campaign contributors paying top dollar to hear his anti-Obama rants. Even members of the crowd that were not turned on by his policies did admit it took some balls just to agree to address this crowd. Historically black voters have leaned heavily to the left with their turnout rate rising recently in 2008.
But was Romney’s speech as doomed from the start as Clay Akins performance at the Apollo? No, thanks to the Great Comedian, and ironically avid Obama supporter, Chris Rock there is hope yet for even the most white-yuppie Republican, Comedian, or Singer to win over the darkest of audiences. After watching the clip linked below I couldn’t help but wonder how much this could have helped the stuffy presidential hopeful.