published Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Shovel Ready

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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AndrewLohr said...

Right--the economy is too big for Uncle Sam to fix. Let the free market handle it. Human Events online says Rwanda is now selling green tea to China, once the tea industry got the tea inspectors off its back, and foreign aid is down from 100% of the government budget to 40%. Maybe we should replace our Afro-American with an Afro-African; some of them have sense. Send our man over to run Zimbabwe.

December 14, 2010 at 12:26 a.m.
Clara said...

Andrew,

That "Free Market" is far from free. And...

When was the foreign aid 100% of the budget?

December 14, 2010 at 12:32 a.m.
Yano said...

The US gives $16 billion, or $51 per citizen per year, in economic development foreign aid per year, an amount equivalent to 3% of the military budget. We also give $35 billion in military aid. Most aid goes to Israel, Egypt, Columbia, Jordan, Pakistan, and Peru. The money to Egypt and Jordan buys an Israel-friendly foreign policy. The money to Columbia and Peru pays for anti-drug programs. The money to Pakistan fights terrorism.

http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/politics/us-foreign-aid.htm http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_com_to_for_aid-economy-commitment-to-foreign-aid

December 14, 2010 at 6:37 a.m.
woody said...

Andrew it is waaaay to early for so much cynicism. Besides, if we just wait long enough it will take care of itself..won't it?? Excuse me..I thought we were discussing the huge pile of snow up against the man's door.

Must have been a 'lake-effect' snowfall. You know..when three inches can easily turn into three feet in a matter of moments.

Hmmm, if we could just get our federal fiscal folk in touch with those who have had to dig their way out from under for years on end..maybe then the government and certain political parties would learn what it is really like to make due with what you have and doing whatever is necessary to see that you can.

I'm through shoveling now, Woody

December 14, 2010 at 6:59 a.m.
Reardon said...

It also buys a rest-of-the-Middle-East "Death to America" policy.

December 14, 2010 at 6:59 a.m.
anniebelle said...

I have a long memory, a little over two years ago, our "free markets" -- along with their bankster cohorts Bush/Cheney -- fleeced us, the taxpayer, to the tune of $700 BILLION with no oversight whatsoever. AndrewBore, you need to sign up for one of those what the repukes euphemistically refer to as a 'think' tank. I guess your thought patterns work quite well with your uninformed cadre of acquaintances.

December 14, 2010 at 7:30 a.m.
fairmon said...

Non partisan basic economics: Who pays the taxes and cost imposed by local, state and federal governments on businesses? Where does the business get the money to pay for the additional 22% to 33% of legislatively imposed cost? Would a higher tax rate be better than having the government embed the 22% to 33% in the price of everything I buy? Why is it necessary for the U.S. to have corporate taxes the highest in the world? Could that have something to do with the U.S. also having the highest trade imbalance in the world? Could that be the reason people buy imported goods instead of U.S. made products? Would U.S. goods at 25% less cost increase domestic buying of U.S. produced goods and increase exports? Would that increase jobs and decrease unemployment?

A "free market" means without government intervention or involvement in the form of subsidies, grants, deductions, reductions, incentives and other government tools used to control and manipulate. A "free market" means allow the law of supply and demand to work. Is that too uncomfortable and frightening for you?

Food, shelter and clothing are basic needs of survival so governments should assure no monopolies or price fixing exist in those areas. The law of supply and demand will work every time even if not as quick as people think it should. It may mean waiting longer to make a discretionary purchase. Each time we demand legislation that requires the government to prevent, protect, inhibit or require something we increase our cost (taxes) and give up some freedom. The confusion and disagreement revolves around what is essential and what is nice to have.

The government providing and taking care of every inhabitant of the country from womb to tomb is expensive but if that is what we insist on then we will have to pay for it. We have exhausted our line of credit.

December 14, 2010 at 7:31 a.m.
fairmon said...

anniebelle, Your good memory should be longer than two years and also recall well in advance of the collapse secretary of the treasury Snow and Bush's appearance before congress urging congress to increase the regulation of the financial sector, especially Fannie May and Freddie Mac. Barney Franks and his cohorts became so angry they were swearing and said the motive was racial and aimed at not allowing people to pursue the "American dream". They insisted that regulations were adequate.

Who are they to say what an Americans dream is? It is not every Americans dream to be in debt and burdened by being a home owner. The American dream is different for each American but usually has a lot to do with freedom of choice.

There is probably and archived video of the hearing somewhere if it hasn't been destroyed. Bush was weak and did not pursue and insist and he probably doesn't admit that in his book. Snow in frustration resigned soon after.

December 14, 2010 at 7:49 a.m.
alprova said...

Andrews figures came from an article published on the "Human Events" website, a site that claims to be a "leader in Conservative media." The article made the claim that Rwanda's Gov't once spending 100% of it's resources on foreign aid, which of course makes no sense whatsoever.

As is the case with most of Andrew's posts, I have a hard time connecting the dots and following his thought processes. Today's comments are no different.

To suggest that Rwanda is a current example of a well-functioning economy and/or Gov't is rather ridiculous. 90% of the people of that nation work strictly in agriculture on fragmented farms and 60% of those same people earn wages well below the poverty line. The nation has very few natural resources and little industry.

Rwanda imports nearly three times as much as it exports.

I suppose in Andrew's mind though, economically enslaving the vast majority of a nation into working in the production of tea and coffee exports is the way to run a nation.

As if that was not bad enough, Andrew goes on to post one of the most bigoted statements about the President to date that I have ever read in this forum.

Shame on you Sir. Your terminology in reference to a race of people is as stale as the loony content on your website. At least you didn't fart another of your self-righteous sermons today.

By the way, I did not know until today that you were a YouTube sensation. 36 views and counting;

Yikes!!

December 14, 2010 at 7:57 a.m.
Clara said...

Wasn't it the "Free Market" that brought up the robber barons, child labor, wretched farm people, sweat shops, and before that, slavery?

December 14, 2010 at 9:13 a.m.
mmlj said...

Clara,

Interesting cause-effect that you draw: the free market causes robber barons, child labor, wretched farm people, sweat shops, etc.

Do these things not exist in China who economic system is far from free market?

Tough to blame all of those things on the free market.

December 14, 2010 at 10:23 a.m.
librul said...

Andrew, in his room, singing psalms to a squeezebox ... yikes indeed!

December 14, 2010 at 10:40 a.m.
Reardon said...

If you claim we have anything resembling a "Free Market," then you haven't a clue.

"Wasn't it the "Free Market" that brought up the robber barons, child labor, wretched farm people, sweat shops, and before that, slavery?"

No offense, but that's garbage progressive history without any proper perspective of the times.

December 14, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.
Francis said...

you don't saddle citizens who are struggling to pay bills and keep their homes in a crappy economy with higher tax rates. common sense and empathy would dictate that.

anniebelle..you and other liberals on here a bore.....you can't criticize your own even in the face of mountains of evidence.

you should pay attention to harp's posts.....but, maybe logic, facts, common sense and history are too much for you to handle.

December 14, 2010 at 11:08 a.m.
alprova said...

Reardon, no offense, but the very reason that the Gov't intrudes into people's businesses and has over the past century and enacted labor laws, is due to the very fact that when employers are left alone to wrestle with the ethical treatment of employees, they abandon those ethics by and large, in favor of whatever method that will allow them to pocket the most money off the backs of those who actually do the work.

December 14, 2010 at 11:19 a.m.
Francis said...

no, clara.....corruption led to all of that..anyone can be corrupted... corrupt people can be found in any system......the free market is not responsible for that...history has shown, since 1917...that communist, socialist and authoritarian governments are capable of all that you mentioned..and a whole lot worse... to single out the free market is silly.

to single out the free market for corruption is stale, old and worn out progressive talking points.

December 14, 2010 at 11:22 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

This cartoon looks like another whiny excuse for the failures of Obama. Ohhhh... poor Obama, he inherited a mess of such epic proportions that even his shovel ready projects could not kick start the economy.

Oh wait, there is no such thing as a shovel ready project. The Chosen One was forced to squander the money he took for shovel ready projects on favors to the unions and all of his other constituencies.

If Obama was not such an economic retard the economy would already be in full recovery. Instead we are poised on the edge of a second and much more severe collapse.

December 14, 2010 at 11:49 a.m.
Francis said...

alprova ..that's one hell of condemnation of employers in this country.

"abondon those ethics"... and "off the backs of those who actually do the work"

sorry, but you must be talking about the federal government which "by and large" views the people of this country as a source of revenue.....

you don't trust people and you don't like freedom.

typical of you....but what can you expect from someone who trusts the fed. governement because "they never bounced a check.

December 14, 2010 at 12:35 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

I believe the biggest challenge we face with the economy is the “banana republicans,” which means if we want to do something about the economy, we need to push them out of the way.

As to where do we go from here to make things better, most economists seem to be saying pretty much the same thing in regard to the cause and the best solution:

“. . . For three decades, an increasing share of the benefits of economic growth have gone to the top 1 percent. Thirty years ago, the top got 9 percent of total income. Not they take in almost a quarter.

Meanwhile, the earnings of the typical worker have barely budged.

The vast middle class no longer has the purchasing power to keep the economy going. (The rich spend a much lower portion of their incomes.) The crisis was averted before now only because middle-class families found ways to keep spending more than they took in - by women going into paid work, by working longer hours, and finally by using their homes as collateral to borrow. But when the housing bubble burst, the game was up.

The solution is to reorganize the economy so the benefits of growth are more widely shared. Exempt the first $20,000 of income from payroll taxes, and apply payroll taxes to incomes over $250,000. Extend Medicare to all. Extend the Earned Income Tax Credit all the way up through families earning $50,000. Make higher education free to families that now can't afford it. Rehire teachers. Repair and rebuild our infrastructure. Create a new WPA to put the unemployed back to work.

Pay for this by raising marginal income taxes on millionaires (under Eisenhower, the highest marginal rate was 91 percent, and the economy flourished). A millionaire marginal tax of 70 percent would eliminate the nation's future budget deficit. In addition, impose a small tax on all financial transactions (even a tiny one -- one half of one percent -- would bring in $200 billion a year, enough to rehire every teacher who's been laid off as well as provide universal pre-school for all toddlers). Promote unions for low-wage workers.

But here's the obstacle. As income and wealth have risen to the top, so has political power. Money is being used to bribe politicians and fill the airwaves with misleading ads that block all of this.”

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/12/08/why_the_tax_deal_confirms_the_republican_worldview/?ref=c1

December 14, 2010 at 1:06 p.m.
acerigger said...

.anyone can be corrupted... corrupt people can be found in any system. Francis | On: December 14, 2010 at 11:22 a.m. Exactly! That's why there must be regulations.

December 14, 2010 at 1:25 p.m.
fairmon said...

A "free market" does not nor did I suggest in my 7:41 post there be no laws or principles around fairly conducting business. "Free markets" are in play when governments quit embedding revenue and imposing unreasonable and costly regulations on non-monopoly businesses. Producers competing with each other will control prices and provides an incentive to acquire and retain good employees, to develop better processes, higher quality products. Those poorly managed and unable to compete will and should cease to exist without government intervention. The void will be filled if there is sufficient demand for the product or service.

The wealthy prefer the current system since the embedded 22% to 30% is paid by everyone when they make a purchase. Purchases made with unemployment money or minimum wage earnings are the same as for the wealthy. The wealthy utilize many of the tax savings in the over 11,000 pages of IRS regulations which includes our wealthy congress members.

The issue is unnecessarily complicated by special interest, lobbyist and 535 politicians that cannot agree to uncomplicate it for self serving reasons.

December 14, 2010 at 5:20 p.m.
Clara said...

Harp,

You mentioned price fixing in your early post. Do you think it has stopped? I can't imagine the amount that is spent on advertising, often for shoddy goods with the price set by the manufacturer and the retail stores following the recommendation. And, as you probably already know, the firms and advertising departments made sure they had psychologists on the job, specializing in the public's manipulation. Just like the politicians.

And I remember one middle class store that now owns a large chain that would advertise a product on sale, but the sale price was higher than the original price. Someone forgot to remove the original tag.

This was confirmed by a neighbor who worked for the firm.

My husband worked for a large specialty store in a management position. One of the products sold was made by a manufacturer who set the prices and would not sell to the firm unless competing equipment was removed. They also had to sell a certain amount of the manufacturer's product, otherwise they were not given any more equipment to sell. This was a reliable firm, owned privately, that also serviced the government. It's been a long time ago, perhaps 50 years ago. They removed the manufacter as a supplier. I don't think the problem has changed in the auto business, has it?

I don't think some of your "supporters" did anything but skew your messages.

December 14, 2010 at 9:26 p.m.
fairmon said...

Clara,

What you describe is not a "free market". There is no suggestion there not be regulations and laws that prevent monopolies and price fixing. However, a free market will in time identify and eliminate those engaged in unscrupulous marketing and other poor business practices. Consumers are more knowledgeable and selective than ever. That is why a free market business that does not have the 22% to 33% embedded government revenue will prosper and employ people. People that buy things and pay taxes without being dependent on government support.

December 15, 2010 at 2:52 a.m.
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