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Renewal of Research Tax Credit: What’s that you say, Lassie? The barn door’s open and the horse is gone?!

Today, the New York Times is reporting that Obama is planning to pitch making the Research Tax Credit permanent:

As part of his pre-election push to spur the slumping economy and his party, President Obama this week will ask Congress to increase and permanently extend a popular but costly tax credit for businesses’ research expenses, and to pay for it by closing other corporate tax breaks, according to administration officials.

Mr. Obama is planning to outline the $100 billion proposal on Wednesday in a speech in Cleveland on the economy. The White House chose the venue partly to draw a contrast with a recent economic address there by Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House Republican leader who would probably become House speaker should his party win a majority in November.

I had no idea there was a tax credit for research or that it had expired in 2009.  I thought the reason that all my friends and colleagues were getting the ax was because the guys with executive hair were following each other like lemmings to Massachusetts to roam the halls of MIT in search of “get-rich-quick!” schemes. (This American Life, Million Dollar Idea, Act One, Going Up!)

But now I see it’s really because our executive in chief was so busy accepting Nobel Prizes prematurely for work his Secretary of State is actually doing that the news that scientists with technical expertise and the right kind of training for the 21st century were losing their jobs just kinda flew under the radar.

And now that we’ve *almost* lost a generation of chemists to Chindia, with the limit approaching minus infinity that those jobs are ever coming back, NOW Obama decides to renew the tax credit.  I don’t know how it’s all going to be put back together now that it’s been torn apart.  It takes years of experience to understand the nature of our work.  There are no shortcuts for good science.  But those years have been interrupted constantly by mergers and acquisitions and consultants and Fear, Uncertainty and Dread and the expiration of a $100 billion tax credit that would have multiplied itself several times over in the hands of salaried scientists.

It’s better than nothing but it doesn’t replace a deep and abiding committment to real innovation and research.

Which we don’t have.

Hmmm, maybe the Democrats are realizing that they need all of those newly emancipated R&D wage slaves after all…

110 Responses

  1. Well, don’t complain when we stop making new stuff

    • I didn’t know about that research credit either. NOW he’s talking about it? Obama is very slow on the uptake. I wonder when it will dawn on him that he could have emulated FDR and started CCC- and WPA- type programs long ago that would have helped the economy recover instead of our having to go through another decade of stagnation? Maybe after he bombs Iran?

      • yep, I’m scratching my head over the tax credit thingy. I guess the rapidly devolving economy in former research hubs like NJ and eastern PA has finally got someone’s attention. It’s about frickin’ time, now that most of my friends are out of work and can’t find jobs in their fields for love or money. And losing their houses and health insurance and little stuff like breaking up their families because one parent can only keep his/her job by relocating 300 miles away and they need two incomes to live a modest middle class lifestyle in the Northeast. Those kinds of stories, that I hear everyday to the point that if I don’t develop a hardy exterior shell, I will spend my time weeping in the bathroom and ruin all my experiments, are the stories that really get to me. And yes, this happens All The Time. One parent stays with the kids in NJ, the other spends 5 days a week in Massachusetts or Connecticut. Multiply this by years. Lovely.
        This is how we treat the people who have spent most of their adult lives learning new science and technology, the most highly educated people we have.
        We let the tax credit expire and do nothing about it for a year.
        I’d be bitter but I’m too busy trying to keep it all together while my real social network falls to pieces.
        Thanks for nothing, Barry.

        • I think it’s because he’s going for republican support again. For some reason, he keeps putting his hand back on the same lit burner. Reason would suggest that isn’t going to get a different result, but then, I’m not sure reason and politics aren’t like oil and water.

      • BTW, met an executive coach at dinner last night. After she found out I was just a labrat, she stopped talking to me over her beet salad with blue cheese and candied pecans.
        Do executive coaches teach sociopathic behavior or do they merely enhance it?

        • Probably she had the snap insight that you could understand whether she was talking bullsh!t or not. Unlike the suits she usually hangs out with.

          • If you mean whether I understood that she sells techniques on how to manipulate people based on marketing and sales psychological research and practices, no, I don’t think she flattered me by thinking I had any idea what she does. i just happened to get sent to some of those leadership classes by my supervisor a couple of years ago and learned all about it while I sat in a room with 20 pushy salespeople.
            Personal coaching is something special though, isn’t it? It’s for the really ambitious who want to learn how to ingratiate the silver backs while plotting to become the next one.
            And manipulating your employees with misleading language.
            I guess she picked up on the fact that I instantly loathed her the minute she said executive coach. It was *my* Blink! moment that killed the conversation.

          • so it wasn’t that she realised you couldn’t do anything for her career?

    • I’m worried this may not make much difference. Lots of companies over the past decade or two have slashed payrolls even when they were making profits.

      If the money for research actually gets to the researchers, great.

  2. I’m looking to cash in on the up coming wizard profession. You know, when you enter a new dark ages, all that science stuff will seem like magic to most people. I’m working on some robe designs now.

  3. RD, you’ve captured another way in which this administration reacts but does not foresee, forestall or lead.

    • Why this comes as a shock to us is a mystery to me. He wasn’t ready for a job with this many moving parts during one of the most destructive financial crises of our lifetime.
      If you haven’t heard Ian Welsh on Virtually Speaking, check it out. Ian’s take on this is that Obama isn’t an evil guy. He’s simply enamored with Ivy Leaguers, hates confrontation and likes small, incremental change even if the times calls for big, bold restructuring. He feels he’s doing us a favor and we are simply ungrateful.

      Sorry about ruining your mojo by linking to you, Ian. Associating with us by proxy could have detrimental effects on your coolness factor. As they say, “One step ahead makes you a leader. Two steps ahead makes you a martyr.”
      We are the martyrs of the left.

      • it’s already too late for him. He’s had TC on his site’s blog roll for as long as I can remember.

        • That explains a lot. He seems remarkably kool-aid free. He must be banned elsewhere.

          • As Katiebird use to say, he never had a full-time job before. No wonder he wasn’t ready for this one. Starting at the top of the job pyramid is great for the ego until you start looking like a complete moron and everyone starts point it out to you.

          • The Presidency of the United States is not for sissies. It’s the hardest job on the planet. I don’t think Barry really knew what he was getting himself into. I mean, assuming you’re not an evil person, you still want to leave a positive legacy behind. What (or who) convinced him that he was ready for this kind of awesome responsibility after such a short period of time in the Senate? I think it all comes down to identification. The ones who wanted Barry are the guys who saw themselves in him: priveleged, well educated, theoretically liberal men. That’s why everyone else got thrown under the bus. It wasn’t Obama’s color that did it, although they played that for all it was worth.
            They were in love with themselves.
            Obama was perfect.

          • Nailed it RD.

          • RD–Yes. The fact that Obama was, by our culture’s definition, African-American was only a nice bonus, which allowed them to dismiss their residual guilt feelings over past and present racism. Primarily, he was their bro.

            Obviously, the “creative class” carries no guilt feelings worth mentioning about misogyny.

  4. This is the best and brightest? Geez. The horse has not only left the barn, it long ago meandered down to the highway and got creamed by a semi. And we’ve spent years jumping up and down waving our arms at Washington: “Hey, guys, the horse! THE HORSE!!!” while the press spent 8 years crooning over a “sunny nobility” and a few more now crooning over “he talks like us and has admirable creases in his pants”.

    But now Versailles notices, between droll salon discussions and afternoon cocktails. Well, I feel so much better about our leadership now.

    • Versailles is a good analogy. One reason France played second fiddle to Britain for so many years is that while Britain also was saddled with a parasitic aristocracy, British society did leave more room for bright members of the middle and even working classes to use their brains.

      • Plus, let’s not forget Britain was Protestant. I reckon scientists in Catholic countries kept Galileo in the backs of their minds for at least a couple of centuries.

  5. Help! Spammy latched on and dragged me under!

  6. Standard disclaimer: I am NOT a Rand Paul fan, this is merely political analysis.

    Those “racist” Kentuckians are kicking the Dems to the curb. Rand Paul is up 15 points in the latest SurveyUSA over the Dem, a swing of about 7 points since the last poll. The internals are interesting:

    Paul wins 60% of voters under 50 years of age, and 52% of voters 50 and older. He also wins 37% of the African-American vote, a surprisingly high number for a Republican candidate. Paul gets 56% of independents and 32% of Democrats

    So he kicks ass with the youth, does well with the old, and gets an unheard of percentage of both blacks and democrats.

    Considering that I find it difficult to swallow that 37% of black Kentuckians are avid Libertarians, I think that this is as much about the voters sending a message as it is about Paul.

    Perhaps, perhaps the message is that bullying delegates, calling people racist backward ungrateful hicks, and basically sneering at them that they are too stupid to appreciate the superiorness of your plans for them has a wee bit of angry blowback attached. Nice going, Dems.

    • I’ll add that Kentucky LOVED Hillary, and got smacked around for it. Hmmmm….any connection there?

    • I attribute it to revenge. Remember the percentages that Hillary won those Appalachan states by? It didn’t count for squat at the convention.
      It’s very hard to make a reasoned argument to people who suffer from generational poverty and get kicked in the junk by the very party who has a history of helping the. Anger and pain tends to get in the way.
      Well, the Dems brought this on themselves. Good luck to them while they try to reason with people they threw under the bus in 2008 and then backed up over at the convention.
      I remember hearing that the Obots threatened some delegates from either Kentucky or Tennessee with losing their jobs if they didn’t switch their votes.

      • It’ll be justice served then when those delegates that threatened other delegates lose their jobs come November.

      • I keep watching with sick fascination as everything plays out exactly as I (and others) predicted.

        I know the lower echelons of suburban middle america, and the rural poor. These are my people, I grew up among them. If they sometimes seem overly proud and provincial, it is because their pride and their tight-knit community is all they have, and they will defend it fiercely from slights and scorn.

        But when I tried to tell my fellow Dems how to NOT alienate these people, I got called a republican ratfucker, and that I was only worrying about “those redneck republicans who are never going to vote for a Dem anyway.” Not true. Unless one believes that 37% of african americans and 32% of democrats in kentucky are people who would “never vote for a democrat”. You know, the ones who voted for Hillary.

        Sow. Reap.

        Batten down. Here comes the fucking whirlwind.

      • The job threats to primary them, cut off DCCC money, etc I know for certain occurred in WV. Don’t recall about KY or TN.

  7. Under the bus with those endangered incumbents.

    WASHINGTON — As Democrats brace for a November wave that threatens their control of the House, party leaders are preparing a brutal triage of their own members in hopes of saving enough seats to keep a slim grip on the majority.

    Not exactly the work of a party in ascension.

  8. When Obama won, I figured he was going to pass some quick fixes like Schumer’s 27% China tariff. It’s good for jobs but bad for retail. Instead, he doubled down by kissing China’s ass and promising to use the ValueJet model on the US economy.

    • All our trade should be reciprocal. The free traders heads might explode, but that would be a positive side effect.

  9. Dak and other hurricane-area folks might be interested in this recent post by our local weather expert (meteorologist at Univ of Washington) and the lack of research funds.

    An interesting factoid: My profession has made huge progress in predicting hurricane tracks, but there has been little headway with hurricane intensity predictions.
    …for intensity forecasts one must predict the inner workings of the storm and that is MUCH harder. First, you need to have enough information to determine the detailed three-dimensional structure of the storm…something we generally don’t have. Then you must simulate the storm evolution and it takes very high resolution to model the eyewall and rainbands realistically. Current hurricane models are not run with sufficient resolution.

    But this could change quickly if sufficient resources were provided–including more powerful computers for the National Weather Service, better observations in hurricanes, and other realizable technological improvements. Unfortunately, the National Weather Service is acutely lagging behind in computer technology and a few weeks ago their request for an update of their main computer system was rejected by the Office of Management and Budgets. Our national weather prediction effort is in danger of falling to third-class status.


  10. This isn’t Obama’s fault. Democrats in the House passed a temporary extension in 2009 for 2010, which is how it’s been done for quite a while. I believe it didn’t pass in the Senate. Frankly, Pharma makes huge profits for a mature industry that claims to be “high-risk”. I have little sympathy for the owners of capital in the pharma industry. One reason for the layoffs isn’t that pharma is somehow a struggling industry, as if. It’s that the industry is consolidating, and a great deal of the pharma layoffs have been in sales, which despite popular belief are where most of the operating expenses in pharma lie, not in R&D. Further, Obama just gave pharma a sweetheart deal by disallowing the government to use it’s market power to purchase drugs through the new health insurance law, and continuing the similar policy under Medicare Part D. I understand you work for the industry, as do some of my closest family members, and I respect that work. But the majority owners of drug companies have and continue to make out like bandits, and what Obama is offering here is a PERMANENT R&D tax credit, rather than the usual temporary fix. Pharma has a friend in the White House.

    • On the tax credit, here:

      “they are still considering whether to propose making permanent a tax credit for businesses’ research and development; for three decades the costly credit has been repeatedly renewed rather than made permanent so the revenue loss does not show up in deficit projections.”


      Software companies and gamers will also benefit from the tax credit.

    • Oh, ok. I guess it’s ok with you at we lose our jobs then. It’s to prove a point.
      Thanks for the heads up. I think I’ll just hang out with my friends at the unemployment line and tell them what a great sacrifice they’re making to the cause.

      • I’m all for Big Pharma putting money into research. What I don’t like is that they spend more money on marketing than on research. Since I’m a practicing clinician in healthcare, I see the $$$ spent on ads and on a zillion sales reps (OK, down from a zillion zillion sales reps 5 yrs ago) as an abhorrent waste of money.

        • When you can find a way of protecting the lab rats while you decimate the marketing people, let us know.

          • Oddly, I think that things like this research tax credit could be part of a solution that does just that. Have the government support the research stuff, and limit marketing, and enforce reasonable drug pricing. That provides pressure on the companies to downsize parts of their budget, but offers some incentive to keep research going. It’d also be nice if the government did something about runaway executive salaries and bonuses and some of the dumber parts of IP law, but I don’t expect that to happen unless someone real gets elected (and actually gets to take the reins after winning the election).

          • I doubt spending less on propaganda to patients and prescribers is rationally connected to lab rats getting less $$$.

            I prescribe, and if a drug has a good risk/benefit profile, the latest glossy color marketing ploy for it or its competitors will make no difference to me. I don’t trust Big Pharma’s ads and don’t get my info from them. And don’t even get me started on direct-to-patient advertising.

      • And I didn’t get the impression Masslib was critiquing the researchers, but the fat-cat CEOs and their ilk.

        • Again, when you can selectively punish one group while saving the other, get back to me.

          • Excuse me, pharma has yet to be “punished” in an economical sense by the federal government. At some point, the industry will have to get used to a normal level of profits for a mature market. And, there will still be plenty of good paying jobs in pharma, and plenty of profit.

          • Once again, you display a shocking lack of information wrt research. I don’t intend to speak for or defend big pharma but let’s just say there are many moving parts to this conundrum and you are focussing almost exclusively on the easy target while leaving the rest of the puzzle completely unexamined. Please don’t. You just reveal your ignorance and it’s not pretty.

        • Exactly.

        • You do understand thAt scientists are not making huge salaries and are actually losing their jobs by the thousands, don’t you or have you missed that part?
          If you want to get rid of research in the US once and for all, keep thinking that we’re all greedy Gordon Gekkos rolling in dough. Do not attempt to differentiate the people who actually discover and innovate from the people who profit from that.
          I can only assume that having R&D move overseas to either Asia or Europe is hunky dory with you.
          Your attitude has severe consequences for research in the US. You are contributing to it’s demise with your shallow understanding of the problem.
          I can not possibly take you or anyone who thinks lime you with any degree of seriousness. You are stuck in a frame of mind that is religious in nature. It’s based on a belief system, born of indoctrination in the ways of liberal purity. It fails to take into consideration the collateral damage that arises when thought processes are incomplete and not taken to their logical conclusions.
          I reject thinking like that. It fails to adapt to a changing environment, inconvenient fact and leads to a loss of employment for many people I know who don’t deserve this to happen to them. Good hard working peop,e who are very smart, who work hard and live by the rules are getting the snotty, uninformed typical lefty treatment from people such as yourself and I really don’t like it.

          • RD and her colleagues are not Gordon Gekkos, but their ultimate bosses are. In order to punish the Gekkos selectively, there would have to be a takeover of the pharmaceutical industry into public ownership. I have no idea how that could be done. 😦

          • I reckon what we actually need in this country is a complete overhaul of executive business culture, but I don’t know how THAT could be done, either.

            I can identify the problems, but I’m stumped for the answers.

      • It’s not to prove a point. It’s CONSOLIDATION of the industry and it happens in every mature market. But pharma is the second or third most PROFITABLE industry in the US. It’s not struggling.

        • Consolidation of this industry was probably the leading cause of the difficulties it is in right now. Good science takes time to absorb new information and new technology. But we have not been given the space and time to do this in the past twenty years due to wave after wave of mergers and acquisitions. Every time there’s a merger, projects get put on hold and eventually die, new projects are disrupted and people have to wait to see what gets saved. That has been incredibly disruptive.
          And what exactly would you like to take the place of this industry thAt you think is a dinosaur? I can tell you that the answer is already on it’s way and you are probably not going to like it either.
          Research is expensive. It takes time. Neither the executives or the lefties seem to grok that.
          You will have to live with the consequences. Enjoy!

          • “Research is expensive. It takes time.”

            Yes! This! In Canada, we don’t have an elected Senate. Instead, we have lifetime appointments. The reasoning is that you’re better able to think and work towards long-term solutions if you don’t have to worry about being re-elected.

            Full disclosure, I think that the stock market is a stupid way to fund business. At this point, I think that big businesses are gauging their profitability on a minute-to-minute basis. So how the hell are they going to hold out for research outcomes and breakthroughs that are years out? They’ll do what’s profitable in the short-term and screw themselves, their employees, and the larger community in the long-term. Because that’s what share-holders demand. Maybe research heavy industries shouldn’t be Private or shouldn’t be Publicly-traded. I don’t know. But I do know that businesses have lost the capacity to think beyond short-term profitability.

          • Where I come from “research” is what you do when you couldn’t find it the first time you looked.

          • Honk, honk!
            Thanks, I needed that.

          • I respectfully disagree that funding research appropriately also means funding that company’s sales reps to take prescribers to some of the most expensive restaurants in town for a sales pitch. And I used to work in marketing.

          • No one said you had to agree. What you do need to do is propose a solution.
            So far, you haven’t.

          • NWLuna,

            I’m not a prescriber (although the possibility exists that I someday could be). I am on the receiving end of a buttload of drug marketing (because people with MS are cashcows, apparently). I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. I think the drug companies are for the most part evil on a stick. But I also recognize that profits and exec salaries are the last thing that any large corp is going to accept a loss on. If sales drop, they’ll sell off the organs of the admin staff before they let profits fall. Any regulation that causes them to make less money is going to result in scientists being laid off unless steps are taken to prevent this. The question is what steps can be taken and how? Because there is a lot wrong with drug companies that needs to be fixed, but ideally we could do it without devastating a huge swath of working scientists. In the short term, this needs to happen. In the long term, we need to overhaul the entire way that big business works in this country, because it is officially corrupt and broken.

          • What you do need to do is propose a solution.
            So far, you haven’t.

            Guess I need to spell it out more clearly. Don’t spend so much on marketing; spend more on research.

          • I am on the receiving end of a buttload of drug marketing (because people with MS are cashcows, apparently).

            The patients aren’t the cash cows, it’s because the drugs are so expensive. The first-line drugs all work just about as well, something I delight in telling patients, but which annoys some of the drug reps no end. If a drug company can instill brand loyalty, they stand to make a lot of money over time.

            Also, check any of those forms you sign to get signed up for DMTs — often there is an “opt-out” box to check if you don’t want their propaganda mailed to you. I try to remember to point this out to patients. It won’t stop the junk mail but will reduce the amount.

    • I’m sorry but do you realize how incredibly stupid your logic is? If ere is no tax credit, the jobs just go overseas. It’s no skin off of Fred Hassan’s nose. The only people who get screwed are the scientists whose jobs and middle class incomes are going by bye and the American people who are losing both their scientific infrastructure and the multiplier effect of those salaries. Fred might as well be saying “no, don’t throw me in the briar patch”. He’s going to do as well or better without the damn tax credit. It’s everyone else who will suffer.
      Try to focus on the lab rats for a change.

      • You are absolutely correct. The only way I can see to combat that is to start classifying companies as “American” depending on the percentage of their work and employess who are in America. Then make tax treatment better for “American” companies. I’m sure we would all be surprised how few of our major corporations would qualify.

        Then again, the unintended consequences of such a move could be disastrous. But we are in a disaster now, so …

        • That would probably violate our trade agreements with most of the nations with most favored nation status. It would be considered a tariff …

          • Tough.

          • well, that means it would go to the WTO and we’d be fined or it would set off similar reprisals by other countries … not sure if that would create the desired end or not

            think you can remove incentives, but doubt you can create disincentives without running into legal troubles

          • Favorable tax treatment for American companies would be an incentive. Some countries do that now but, because we have been free trading wimps, the WTO might attempt an action.

            They would have a case to prove and, if it came down to it, who is going to serve the subpoena? Do we really fear reprisals by Malaysia and most of the EU enough to let our own country rot? China wouldn’t do it, they need us worse than we them for now at least.

          • Dak, this is Interesting. When I’m a political big-wig, I’m totally going to ask you to be an econ adviser.

            Can you explain how incentives and disincentives work? Maybe we’d all be better off without the WTO and reinstating tariffs…

      • No, sorry, my logic isn’t stupid. Again, most of the cuts in pharma have been in SALES, which is where most of the operating costs in pharma go, NOT R&D. Second, Obama has been PUSHING to make the tax credit PERMANENT. He has not been behind the eight ball here as you argue. Third, it won’t be the tax credit that keeps pharma in the US. There will always be some country to offer a better tax rate or even no tax at all. That’s a giant race to the boottom. Finally, I am not against the tax credit. My point is pharma has not ever received a bad deal from Obama, and much of the layoffs in pharma are due to industry consolidation in a mature market and not the economy.

        • Oh, ok. I’ll just go tell all my friends in research that have lost their jobs that their current unemployment status is just a figment of their imaginations. You really have NO CLUE what you’re talking about so stop while you are ahead.
          It has been a fricking blood bath here. You owe us all an apology.

        • Wait, I have ti tell the BFF what you think. He was the last chemist out of the building and got the privilege of turning stuff off. I’m sure he will find it amusing since he had to witness his entire three story lab building emptied of all of his friends and colleagues laid off. Hundreds of people. And that was only one building on one site. He’s right here now, trying to come up with some other way to make a living. He’s got degrees that would be the envy of most people I know. But he’s out of work. Did everything right, studied the hardest subjects, worked his ass off. Currently unemployed.
          Thanks for playing masslib. Now, go play on 95.

        • I totally agree with your overall point. That said, how DO we work to avoid the race-to-the-bottom while still protecting American workers and avoiding the economic consequences? I think a balance needs to be struck.

          • What would do it? Get rid of the 401k. It’s a pyramid scheme and workers end up contributing to their own demise. *we* are the shareholders. We Re getting scammed by the people on wall street who collect fees and bonuses. They and we are demanding greater quarterly returns. It’s got to stop.

          • RD, that is an AWESOME point. *thinky-think*

          • Invest your 401K in bonds whenever possible. Okay, not much of a solution.

        • Pharma sales & marketing is still bloated. Pharma Research, no.

          Somehow, I think it would be possible to fund research and NOT have an excess of annoying sales reps stop in far too often oozing friendliness and quasi-respect, while internally reciting “Rx my drug, Rx my drug.”

          Not all drug reps are that bad, but some are really bad. You think I’m going to Rx your drug because of the cool visuals in your ads? Hahahaha. Jeebus.

          • Hey, they get training to do that. Look, you’re closer to the sales force than I am. You can come up with a solution. Just remember that salespeople have to eat too, although they have a much better chance to sell themselves to their next employer. Their skills are endlessly fungible.
            But you couldn’t turn a sales person into chemist. There should be a value on that. Sadly, there isn’t.

          • RD, do any chemists ever go into sales for the pay and stability increase?

          • I’ve known a few chemists who have gone into sales. It doesn’t happen often. Usually, it’s because they have the right personality for sales though none of them gave struck me as the crazy testosterone fueled sales types I meet at leadership training meetings. I’m guessing that if you ever meet with a laid back, well informed sales person, he was probably a researcher in a former life.
            The chemists who go into sales generally do not have phds. So the only way to make a comfortable living in the northeast where most research is based is to drop research and go into sales.
            Non phds make decent but unspectacular wages. You are not going to be able to support a non working wife or kids in a middle class lifestyle without a lot of sacrifice. If you want to make it, you get out of research.
            Very sad. We lose a lot of very smart people that way.

  11. Nice post RD. That said, I don’t trust Obumbles.

    He said that to pay for this tax credit, he is going to close other corporate loopholes. I don’t see how his puppetmasters will allow that to happen. Furthermore, why isn’t he targeting a couple of industries that spill over into other parts of the economy? Where are the associated education credits to bolster the workforce with American scientists? There is something behind this. I am guessing that he will slip this into the SS benefits reduction bill that Simpson and Bowles are crafting for us. Just another way to rob and steal from us is what I see.


    Hillary 2012

  12. The DISemployment and DISinvestment in American science also has tremendous human costs, which I’ve got on my list to blog about; this post, which includes the O’Jays classic, “For The Love of Money,” is a start at working out the initial framing. Ironically enough, I’ve been delayed by some RL opportunities to help those who are suffering from these costs.

  13. Could this tax cut be a ‘shock’ to the American economy? This is what might happen if that ‘shock’ comes to pass, the spinoff of which is more foreclosures, lower demand, more joblessness. Three cheers for leadership!!

    Asshat, asshat, asshat….

    Hillary 2012


  14. How many industries have we seen over the past few decades experiencing this exact same thing? The talented, yet to the bean counters, expensive workers are cut so that the Wall St numbers have significant gains each year.

    Like Myiq has stated over and over again….this isn’t a bug.

    How many times have we heard politicians/Wall St say that we were going to be serving information in the 21st Century? Which made no sense. And that everything else was work monkeys can do so to pay American monkeys high wages wouldn’t keep their bottomlines competitive on the world market.

    Lots of industries have been wailing for years and the rest of public agreed with the bean counters.

    ‘Yeah…you’re a monkey…expect to lose your job.’

    Really the only industry that hasn’t been hit…is DC.

    Frankly, I think DC should expect to be paid lower wages and no pensions because clearly that is what is going on here. Prepping the American monkeys to be happy to get $8/hr.

  15. On his blog Krugman once again attacks Obama’s policies, without squarely putting the blame on Obama-he attacks “Rahmism” rather than “Obamaism.”

    Many of the comments that follow note this, for example:

    >Since Obama became president, I’ve noticed that the problems of the administration are put at the feet of the workers and not the boss. This is a very interesting phenomenon.

    It is, of course, the unwillingness of liberals to directly attack our historically historic first black President (though I’ve no doubt they would have no trouble going after a historically historic first woman President who governed as Obama has). The identity politics trap that gave us Obama, is what has also defanged too many of his critics. But at some point they need to risk being called “racist” and just speak the truth. (Those of us who saw through Obama from the start were all called racists-we survived the experience.)

    Btw, reading John O’Farrell’s “An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain” (the follow-up to his “An Utterly Impartial History”) I think the British pol Obama most resembles is Harold Wilson, of whom O’Farrell writes,”Labour’s second ever landslide in 1966 should have been the moment for a radical programme to bring greater equality, opportunity, and social justice, but Wilson had his heart set on disenchantment instead, and all things considered, made a fantastic job of lowering everyone’s expectations and then failing to meet even those…Britain was led by someone who turned out to possess no long-term vision or burning desire to right the injustices of society. Harold Wilson wanted to be in government so he could be in government.”

    Change Labour to Democrats and Wilson to Obama, and it is almost frighteningly apt.

    • Obama wants to be loved like Big Dawg, wants a “legacy”, wants to be the great uniter, etc. The problem is that there is no there, there. He never had any vision other than a personal vision of himself as president. The country itself was always a supporting actor to his leading role.

      So in his attempt to make that vision true, he is managing to piss off both the right and the left, and win the scorn of the center to boot. He does this by lurching to do nominally “leftist” things (like HCR), but doing it badly, then lurching back right and sucking up to the banks, then lurching back left and damning the banks (without actually doing anything to them), etc. He is trying to govern as he campaigned, by being all things to all people.

      A true conservative or a true leftist will each pursue goals that are sane, if only in the sense that they are in keeping with their political philosophy. They piss off the the other side, but keep their own base and probably won’t anger the centrists too much.

      A centrist is what he seems to be attempting to be, but he can’t even do that properly. A centrist will build coalitions, and use his/her “triangulating” to maximum benefit, trying to find actual solutions that make sense. Even if they are not entirely gratifying to either side, you’ll mostly get a “Meh, I can live with that.” reaction from the bulk of the electorate. Not rage.

      Obama has done none of the above. Even his compromises make no sense. They don’t make any group happy. He just bounces around in a very disjointed fashion, pissing off EVERYONE in his search for his vision of himself as loved by all. He has no guiding ideology, whether left , right or center.

      This is how we have ended up with a president who is derided as a socialist by the right, a corporatist by the left, and just confuses the fuck out of the middle. Which should be impossible, but this boob has managed it.

      Most presidents we have had, even those I despised, did want the job. And they had some idea of what they wanted to do when they got it. Obama never wanted the job in the first place – he wanted the movie in his own head starring him as president. And we are paying for that.

      • A centrist takes the middle road. This president swerves left and right constantly. He doesn’t actually do anything by sign Congresses legislation, run by corporatist Pelosi and social conservative Harry Reid and populated by more blue dogs than just about any time in history.

        Carter won because he wasn’t Ford and the people quickly found him lacking. I think Obama’s historic presidency will be overshadowed with the first female president. From all indication, she would have to be extremely good to make it past the gauntlet. Obama just came back from vacation at the right time.

  16. Jerry Brown is runnins as a Fiscal Conservative The best indication I’ve seen yet that it’s the poll tested position even in CA.

    (09-03) 19:33 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — Jerry Brown said Friday that if elected governor he would have to “do things that labor doesn’t like,” including cutting pension benefits for public employees and asking labor leaders to “put everything on the table” to get California’s bloated budget under control.

    “If you’re looking for frugality, I’m your man,” the California attorney general and former two-term governor said in a meeting with The Chronicle’s editorial board. When he was governor from 1975 to 1983, he said, “I vetoed the pay raises for the state employees not once, but twice. I was overridden by 23 Republican votes.

    Sigh, another incarnation.

  17. Jerry Brown is runnins as a Fiscal Conservative The best indication I’ve seen yet that it’s the poll tested position even in CA.

    (09-03) 19:33 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — Jerry Brown said Friday that if elected governor he would have to “do things that labor doesn’t like,” including cutting pension benefits for public employees and asking labor leaders to “put everything on the table” to get California’s bloated budget under control.

    “If you’re looking for frugality, I’m your man,” the California attorney general and former two-term governor said in a meeting with The Chronicle’s editorial board. When he was governor from 1975 to 1983, he said, “I vetoed the pay raises for the state employees not once, but twice. I was overridden by 23 Republican votes.

    Sorry if this double posts.

  18. America out of work The jobs aren’t coming back for lots of people. I don’t know how but this has to be ameliorated. Revolution may be the answer if not.

    The U.S. economy will eventually rebound from the Great Recession. Millions of American workers will not.

    What some economists now project — and policymakers are loath to admit — is that the U.S. unemployment rate, which stood at 9.6% in August, could remain elevated for years to come.

    The nation’s job deficit is so deep that even a powerful recovery would leave large numbers of Americans out of work for years, experts say. And with growth now weakening, analysts are doubtful that companies will boost payrolls significantly any time soon. Unemployment, long considered a temporary, transitional condition in the United States, appears to be settling in for a lengthy run.

  19. But now I see it’s really because our executive in chief was so busy accepting Nobel Prizes prematurely for work his Secretary of State is actually doing that the news that scientists with technical expertise and the right kind of training for the 21st century were losing their jobs just kinda flew under the radar.


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