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    • Trump/Clinton Debate Open Thread
      I used to get paid to watch these things. I don’t any more.  So… I’m going to go read a nice novel in a coffee shop.  Please feel free to talk about the debate in comments.  I will, actually, be curious to hear what people have to say, just not willing to sit thru so […]
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Quick Takes on @SenWarren etc

1.) Lizzie Warren took an ax and gave The Donald forty whacks:

That’s going to leave marks.

2.) It’s the Gig Economy, Stupid. In the last week, I have heard both Grover Norquist and Gary Johnson praising the Gig Economy or the 1099 economy as if it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread and everyone’s secret wish is to be a small business owner.

I don’t think anyone in the research industry really wants to be in the Gig Economy and be in a start up funded by vulture capitalists. Small businesses are great for people who are bakers or accountants. For scientists? ehhhh, not so much.

And then there is the paperwork and the taxes to manage. Plus, you lose your Obamacare subsidy and have to pay it all back if you underestimate your income. And income can be variable. Then there’s saving for retirement, saving for future bouts of unemployment, because most self-employed people do not get unemployment benefits.

The Gig Economy will ruin the middle class faster than anything. It leads to income instability. When you can’t count on your income, you can’t buy cars or houses. It’s hard to have kids because you may not be able to afford them throughout the 18 years of their early lives. The gig economy means having to pick and follow your job, something I saw happen to a lot of my former colleagues who had their jobs in one state and their families in another. In short, it sucks and very few people want to live this way.

I can’t imagine why Grover and Gary keep pushing this. It only appeals to young single guys. Well, there you go.

If I were Hillary, I would steer clear of praising the self-employed and small business person too much. Most of us don’t want to go there.

3.) I still like Bernie. Seriously. If I weren’t such a cold hearted pragmatist, I could have felt the Bern. I certainly got warm enough. He’s right on so many issues and that’s why he got so much support.

He went off the tracks by not realizing that the rest of us had a right to our own votes and opinions. Our votes are legitimate too. Delegitimizing Hillary’s voters has been a feature of Bernie’s supporters. They share that with the Obama supporters of 2008. Some of them are probably the same people. Bernie should ditch these people. They are ruining his reputation.

33 Responses

  1. Hi
    Ideologically I should have been in Bernie camp since I am a leftist. Actually far leftist in my younger years. But I am not. My biggest problem with him from the start was his accomplishments. There is nothing new about his ideas . In fact if you look through history all prophets of major religions if you take God out of the equation will qualify as socialists. So believing in something and showing me how far are different. If he waited till he is 75 to actually start to DO that’s not encouraging. I am glad a lot of democrats felt the same way judging by the results. Now we can move ahead.

    • Thank you for bringing up the differences between ideas and accomplishments; noting that in fact Bernie Sanders lacks the latter.

  2. From the beginning Bernie never appealed to me because he seemed to be a font of unfocused anger. I understand the anger but anger without focus is just an old man yelling at the clouds. And then came every time he lost he had a meltdown and accused the system of being rigged when the fact is the most rigged things were the caucuses. People voting apparently is rigged but busing people in to stand for hours and bullying people is not “rigging”. And the whole the people will march on Washington and change things was pure nonsense. Obama said the same thing in 2008 that the people will “rise up” and make his agenda pass. Didn’t happen then and would not happen for Bernie.

    As far as the 1099 thing I am a 1099 person. There are definite advantages to it and downsides. I think praising small business is a good thing because frankly they are your neighbor and they don’t move jobs overseas like the big companies. The advantage to being a 1099 is that you basically write your own schedule. You don’t have to ask or beg a boss for something. However, there are people who are not going to pay you for your work and it’s a hassle. Your income definitely goes up and down but after a year you should have a good idea what it is going to be. It’s the first year that is so unknown.

    I was really kind of disappointed in Warren’s statement. She went after Trump yes, but I don’t know. The delivery just wasn’t there for me.

    • She’s playing bad cop to Hilary’s good cop. I like the combo.
      And while I think it’s great that you are successful in your business, it’s definitely not the thing for the vast majority of people in this economy. That’s essentially what we had at the turn of the last century and if my grandparents’ lives are any guide, it was not a good thing.
      And like I said, it doesn’t work for research because that requires a long term investment in people and capital. Being a gig worker in science could ruin your career if you’re never in one place long enough to gain critical insights or are so hamstrung by secrecy agreements that you’re forced to work in a black box. Besides, income instability is very hard on families.

      • I like Warren’s energy and directness and your good comparison of good cop to bad cop.
        Yet I strongly disagree with some that she may be a good choice for VP.

        • Why so? who would be a better VP? i like the two women team

          • This is not the time, politically speaking is NOT a wise move as much as we would like to see a two women ticket, -that may become someday a reality.

            Hillary needs to secure the general election and become the first woman president of USA, and has to pick someone with broader appeal and administrative record like Sherrod Brown, my choice.

            I think this is Hillary’s moment as “The Woman” to make history.

            I personally don’t want another woman to take the spotlight (if there is one that can shine as bright). Warren has attacked Hillary in the past and Warren can be and is more effective at the Senate level.

            In our very chauvinistic society, it appears that we women have to give (fight) them (males) one spoon at the time…considering what it took to get voting rights…etc., etc., etc.

      • I don’t know if vast majority would be the word or not. It works for some people and not others. People in the tech world are for the most part in the 1099 situation these days due to the way tech companies operate. I’m not sure that can be changed. As far as science goes that goes deeper than just the companies not wanting to invest in R & D. We as a country seem to be working on completely delegitimizing science in total. As for grandparents era mine were farmers. So not much has changed for farmers. They are at the mercy of the weather more than anything else. But you know what? Even if you get a job that is considered “stable” you could be let go tomorrow. So in a lot of ways working on a 1099 is not a whole lot different than a regular job these days. But I will have to say probably so many 1099 jobs would definitely put Bernie’s plans out of commission because how would they ever be able to pay his tax rates?

        • The Sanders have revealed one tax return: 2014, I believe. Anyway, it was not a year in which Jane Sanders had her $160K college presidency (her credentials were a mail-in PhD in “Leadership” and her connections), or her $200K good-riddance parachute for bringing the college to the brink as a result of her expansion plans–the loan probably should not have been issued because it was based on questionable timing of donations. With Jane’s income and golden parachute, the Sanders would be in the top 1% in terms of salary (he collects maximum social security plus his Senate salary). I was appalled that I, hardly in the top 10% pay 5.4% more in effective federal tax than the Sanders. No $9K meal deductions for me! So he has to walk the talk and pay his fair share. We all need to pay a lot more in taxes in order to create Denmark here.

          No living governor of Vermont endorsed Bernie. The current governor attempted single payer, but it had to be stopped in order to not bankrupt the state. Sander’s single-payer bill seeks a co-signer who can find reality in its execution.

          “Progressive economists” can’t find the right math to support Bernies slogans.

          When Sanders realized he might have to show his taxes, he dropped “millionaires” from his “millionaires and billionaires” line.

          Chris Matthews tricked Jeff Weaver into promising to show Sanders tax returns. Here’s the Hardball show (Barney Frank mixes up who is attacking whom, at one point, but what he intends is obvious):

          http://www.msnbc.com/hardball/watch/sanders-ratchets-up-attacks-on-democrats-697117763528

          I’d like to see their taxes, but doubt they will be revealed.

          Sanders’ 2014 tax returns do show that Jane is still getting money from the Texas commission that takes Vermont’s low-level nuclear waste and dumps it in poor Texan communities. Sanders’s co-signed a bill to do so 20 years ago when she was a board member. This dumping was condemned by liberals such as Paul Wellstone. When Mexican-American activists from the town were brought to Washington to plead for their community, Bernie dismissed them– no way, I’m up for reelection.

          Fortunately, a Mexican treaty stopped this near-the-border dumping, and during this current election cycle, Sanders pointed out that it was so 20 years ago–however, Vermont’s toxic wastes are still being dumped in poor communities in Texas, and Jane Sanders is still on the Commission that oversees these wastes, collecting payment now as an alternate board member.

          I’ve failed to discover the appeal of Sanders. He either hasn’t read the Constitution regarding what a president can or cannot do, or offers false promises to those who attend his rallies. I always look at who is supporting a candidate. Bernie just doesn’t have the support of the Democratic Senators he mostly caucuses with, except for Jeff Merkeley of Portlandia who has had to backtrack because he gets asked about Sanders’s supporters’s behavior. This Senator also adds better and recommended that Sanders accept the pledged delegate math as it stands today. A majority is a majority with or without pixie dust.

          Americans don’t like sore losers. It takes a large personality to accept defeat graciously.

          Temperamentally, I fail to see the First Diplomat skills needed for the job he seeks. One can’t just sue when votes don’t go one’s way. Did Hillary even remark on her win in Washington State when voters could send in their ballots as opposed to being subjected to caucuses? The Washington caucus was his yuge win which represented 4.3% of eligible voters, but Hillary pulled in the real votes and won handily. Her votes didn’t count, but no law suit.

          What is this about accusing others of being out to cheat him? Some kind of psychological projection?

          Sanders’s first commitment to down ticket races has been directed to oust Debbie W-S, in a fit of revenge.

          His response to the editorial questions at his first real vetting–sadly but commendably undertaken by The New York Daily News tabloid showed a mental acuity not at the top of its game. When he got wind that he had blown it, he went rabid on Clinton, accusing her of being unqualified and responsible for all of the Iraqi war deaths–bypassing Kerry and Biden who voted the same, but most importantly, not attributing the deaths to the President who deceived Congress.

          His response to the L.A. Times as to how he would convince the Republicans to enact his proposals was “Look out the window, Mitch.” Bernie would point out his crowd ready to convince the Republicans that what he proposed was going to happen (or else?).

          Somehow I just never got it.

          • If there has been anybody who has been more damaging to the left wing of the party, Nader ideas or whatever you want to call it it is Bernie.

          • How can he collect max SS with a salary? I can’t collect it and have to give up 50% of it to the Feds in taxes because of an “amazing” NC teacher’s pension.

        • I think you are making my point. Jobs are less secure today than they ever have been. It’s fine for you if you CHOOSE to be a self-employed, independent contractor. But most of us do not choose that. And it’s bad for the economy for the vast majority of people who could on a steady income to be deprived of that on a more frequent basis. It’s extremely hard on families especially when ones chosen profession makes becoming self employed precarious, sacrificial and expensive.
          So, you know, there’s that.
          We can’t all become artisans and brilliant software designers who can work from home. Some of us spent decades of our lives being collaborative team players getting invaluable experience on long term projects working industries where start up capital is out of reach for the average person. I couldn’t do what I used to do as an independent contractor without investing in very expensive licenses that would wipe out any earnings I made unless I scored a patent.
          Just saying. Working for yourself is not for everyone. It’s not for most people who are just kinda average without the kind of opportunity that came by for mark zuckerberg. And it’s certainly not for people with young children. Parents should not be in a state of constant stress wondering if they will get paid. It’s just a bad, bad thing and the push to make us all individuals who have to negotiate with the people who owe us money for services performed us bad for the economy and should not be encouraged.
          Your personal mileage may vary but do not act like this is not a bad trend that needs to be stopped before it goes any further. It’s why we had the WPA and TVA during the Great Depression. The Democrats realized that having a lot of precariously employed people without a source of steady income was really, really horribly bad for the economy. It’s why we have social security.
          The push for a gig economy for everyone needs to be strenuously resisted.

          • Well, first of all social security does nothing to prevent precarious employment. It was designed to prevent old age poverty which it has been very successful at doing. You seem to be completely missing my point. I’m not saying that 1099 is either good or bad. Just that it works for some and not others.

            What is the solution? Or what is the solution you would propose?

          • Social security was intended to put cash in the pockets of senior citizens who had no pensions or other means of support. It was designed to stimulate the economy. And that’s because working as self-employed or poorly compensated while they were younger left them with nothing to fall back on when the crash came and wiped out their savings.

            My solution? It’s going to sound weird but it is at the heart of all that’s wrong with this economy: get rid of the 401k and return to old boring pensions. I think you will be amazed at how quickly we return to more long term investment in industry and human potential.
            Oh, sure, you can’t do it all at once. It has to be phased out. But imho, there’s no point in enacting any federal labor laws as long as industry and corporations are incentivized to satisfy the shareholders by constantly seeing people’s salaries as a drag on the quarterly earnings bottom line.

            There ya’ go. Make it a new slogan. Kill the 401k, save the world.

          • Precarity is also horribly bad for social and political stability.

            FDR and some other members of his class were smart enough to realize that.

            Many other members of the upper classes were too blindly greedy to see that, and so griped about the New Deal all the way while it was saving their sorry butts from revolution.

            Some of the fat cats favored the Fascist “solution”, like their counterparts in Germany–and even traded with the enemy surreptitiously in WW2.

          • How many people would be willing to listen to Tribble Hair or Sanders if we still enjoyed the broad prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s?

          • Well, I don’t think killing the 401K would make much of a difference because to me the heart of the problem is that employers don’t see employees as an asset and more of a drag on their money and pensions are seen as a drag on their resources. To me 401Ks are going to be killed off naturally over time because if salaries are kept low people are not going to be putting any money into them. And then you are going to have boomers taking out large amounts of money in them over the next so many years. So you have people not even starting them and people closing them out which is going to be the death of the 401K.

          • You are right. Employers see employees as a drag. That’s because they are incentivized to reward shareholder value. And who are the shareholders? We are. We are the ones invested in the managed funds. I’ve seen coworkers get all excited when one of their funds goes up because there’s been a merger and a lot of people get laid off. It’s all fun and games until it happens to your industry.
            Go read Katen Ho’s book, Liquidated, an Ethnography of Wall Street and you’ll get a better picture if what’s going on. The problem is that companies are being traded like baseball cards, whatever assets they have when they are bought are quickly consumed by the shareholders who as the new owners feel no obligation to the commitments that previous managers made to employees. It is all driven by ownership. This is what George w bush was talking about when he referred to an ownership society. And since all of these transactions take place in the blink of an eye, there’s no reason to take an interest in what the companies involved provide to their other stakeholders.
            For instance, very little thought has been spent on what’s going to happen when we need a new antibiotic. The drive towards shareholder value has made antibiotic research non viable.
            So, yeah, we need to phase out the 401k, the sooner the better.

          • The capitalists need antibiotics every so often, too.

            However, just like the capitalists who opposed FDR even while his New Deal was saving their @$$es from revolution, too many of today’s capitalists are too myopically greedy to understand their true self-interest.

          • Pathogenic microbes can’t be brainwashed into accepting capitalists as their rightful masters, and so not attacking the capitalists.

  3. i have to say sherrod brown or kaine the guy from virginia would be meh VPs. Not exciting, bringing nothing. wouldnt address the anti-establishment widespread attitude of the voters. not sure playing safe is going to help Clinton this time. it may be that she needs to ride this one on instinct and reason, a hard combination to master

    • You’re wrong about Sherrod Brown, he’s a liberal’s liberal who is very strong on union and labor issues. He’d bring in a lot of the sincere Sander’s supporters.

      • Doesn’t Sanders have problems with Brown for supporting Clinton?

        A Sanders supporter who condemned Hillary for being a Goldwater Girl in high school (HuffPost is his 4th estate) told me he’s not a sexist–he’d vote for Warren. But what if he knew Warren was a Republican into her 40s? Hillary went to Wellesley and became a Democrat in college. Also, the kids who were Goldwater fans in high school couldn’t vote, but were precocious in terms of political awareness.

  4. And now for something completely off-topic:

    Who remembers Wacky Packages?

    From the article, it seems they were making them as recently as 2012–maybe they still are making them.

    Here’s a classic one. 😀

    • I don’t remember them very well if at all. I remember baseball cards came with sticks of gum with some kind of powdery coating and no flavor.
      The garbage pail kids are a little more familiar but only a little.
      I guess I didn’t live close enough to a corner store during their most active years to invest my petty cash on them.

  5. My veep parameters are 1) Someone loyal to Clinton [there goes Warren out the window] 2) male 3) from business or military 4) younger.

  6. ok my opinion about the VP is that Clinton needs to address her main problem which is that a lot of people for whatever reason dont believe her and young people in particular believe that she is untrustworthy. So to address this problem Warren is the only answer because she has placed herself has the wall street attacker in chief and the one keeping a constant eye on corruption and so on. So this is my main argument in favor of Warren. Less important is her ability to be an attack dog on Trump and the fact that she is woman, doubling down on the novelty and excitement.

  7. I think she should pick one of the Castro bros-young, sharp and Latino. She would really stick it to Trump the Chump! As an added bonus, they are both good-looking and would make the jowly punkinhead look even worse!
    P.S. Please stop calling him Creamsicle, RD. He is NOT a delicious treat on a stick!

  8. Not Warren. She is somewhat narrow-focused, similar to Bernie. Plus, I think the first woman pres should be solo and not have to share spotlight and comparisons to a woman vp. As often noted, I agree it should be someone who would not be looking to be a pres candidate for the 2nd 4 years or at the end of 8. So… that leaves Sherrod Brown, Kaine, or other one in her age range who would be loyal to Hillary and not seeking his own spotlight. I could compromise on age but the Castro guy and Perez seem awfully young and inexperienced. they would be equivalent to Obama, not ready for prime time in case of need. If it were between Castro/Perez and Warren, I would have to go Warren as I think she now craves it and would maybe try to tone the spotlight down.

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