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Tilting at Windmills

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April 25, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE UPSTART....Is trade policy the "single biggest fault line in today's Democratic Party"? That's what Zack Roth says in the current issue of the Monthly, and he suggests that up-and-comer Tim Ryan, a favorite of the netroots, is just the guy to bridge the divide. Ryan, who represents Ohio's blue-collar 17th district, may be a solid favorite of organized labor (he recently cosponsored a tariff bill aimed at Chinese imports), but it turns out he's also a big fan of Alvin Toffler and the knowledge economy:

That Ryan finds himself claimed as an ally by both sides of the trade divide is more than just clever political positioning. His approach may represent where the party, and the country, is ultimately heading on the issue. Younger people appear far more willing than their elders to acknowledge, as Ryan does, that America can't wall itself off from the global economy. In a recent poll, 41 percent of respondents aged eighteen to thirty-four agreed that free trade deals help the United States. Among respondents fifty and over, that figure was just 18 percent. "Younger people didn't fully live as adults in the world as it used to be," says Lori Kletzer, a trade policy expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington think tank that has generally favored trade liberalization. "So they're more willing to figure out ways to work in a world that has ... job insecurities and vulnerabilities."

This has the ring of plausibility to me, and given the importance of young voters to the future of the Democratic Party this may be bad news for the populist wing of the party. Read the whole thing for more.

Kevin Drum 12:14 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (94)

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Comments

Don't worry about the GOP working this split. Attack the strength is the mantra: Dems will get clobbered for their spurious pro-science leanings.

Posted by: absent observer on April 25, 2007 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

I can not wait till the Democrats have total control over the Governemnt

Posted by: Denise on April 25, 2007 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Biggest fault line" is trade? I don't think so! There's this little oopsie over in Mesopotamia that generates plenty of division among Democrats, and not just the DC crowd.

Posted by: Greg in FL on April 25, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

"So they're more willing to figure out ways to work in a world that has ... job insecurities and vulnerabilities."

Mmmm... maybe. Or maybe it's just that, as young people, they:
1. have less to lose, since they haven't built any wealth or debt yet
2. believe that they, of course, will have fabulous lives that make them rich and famous

Posted by: craigie on April 25, 2007 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

My son has not had a job since e tended bar while still in school. He lives contract to contract, teaching ESL classes in other countries. (The people he teaches are getting younger all the time.)

And Craigie - they are cynical. And in debt. My son and most of his friends are 40-60 grand in the hole starting out.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 1:33 AM | PERMALINK

Global Citizen:

What? 40-60 grand in the hole to start?

Is that all college debt?

Posted by: A different matt on April 25, 2007 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

BGRS (aka G.C.) >"...My son and most of his friends are 40-60 grand in the hole starting out."

Yep, just how the ReThuglicans like it. Young folks on a debtors treadmill from the get go. No time to breathe or think about the bigger picture.

Nose to the grindstone & keep up with those payments or...

Scum is way too polite a word for those ReThug "carbon units"

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." - Niccoló Machiavelli (The Prince, 1532)

Posted by: daCascadian on April 25, 2007 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like the rest of the country gets to live like us GenX'rs always did.

Posted by: doug r on April 25, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

Heaven forbid that it be mentioned that the high price of higher education, prices that have risen at a rate far greater than the general rate of inflation for decades, is in large part due to a cartel operated by a constituency that mostly votes Democratic, and in some part because of the very loans that are being decryed here, since they help drive demand. No, better to just blame those sub-humans in the other major party. Why, I bet if you bound them up, and tossed them in a pond, it would be shown that they are witches!

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2007 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'll go with craigie.

I think it's telling that only 41% think free trade is a good idea since that's been the theory pumped out at us since Bretton-Woods. Certainly can see why the older age group might have soured on that one.

And on prospects, exactly the same. A lot of people think they can make it into the top 5 or 10%, and most into the top 30%. Funny, that.

I guess if I was a 21 year old looking to my future I'd be worrying about what all the self-interested old farts were going to do about this country and the world environment seeing as how we are so intent on running it all into the ground.

Posted by: notthere on April 25, 2007 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

Populism isn't dead. Younger people just know that there will be different opportunities out there. Younger people don't wanna live with their parents forever, so they will adjust. You gotta remember something. If someone 50 or over loses their job, it is a lot harder for them to find something new that is comparable to their old job.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on April 25, 2007 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

A Different Matt,

40-60k is on the upper end, but is not uncommon. I'm 24 and many of my friends have graduated with 20-30k, two or three with 50+, and most of these are graduates from state schools.

Pretty dire straights.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on April 25, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

Will Allen,
Who said the school presidents vote Democratic? Just because the profs might, doesn't mean a school president does as well.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on April 25, 2007 at 2:10 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, jkc, the Presidents in, say, the Ivy League (which are among the more obvious cartel operators), are nortorious Republicans. Sure.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2007 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is...

I do live in the top 30%. And that's sad. I live in the same neighborhood... Nay, the same apartment building as people trying to build better lives.

And honestly, how does free trade hurt us? Does it mean that there's less demand for sweatshop work locally? Does it mean that other countries get to eat a bit from out sweet apple pie? Does it mean that less people have to physically come to eat our pie?

Honestly, we need to choose what industries we want to capitalize upon, and capitalize upon them.

Posted by: Crissa on April 25, 2007 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

Wow. A think tank that favours trade liberalization claims that young people favour trade liberalization. Amazing. Gee, think tanks are always on the lookout for the interests of citizens in a democracy. Well, I say trade liberalization is the way to go!

Posted by: Steve on April 25, 2007 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

Craigie,

You're absolutely right, some people are too young to get what John Lennon meant by, "life is what happens to you while you're making plans". There are a lot of young people who don't have kids to feed and plan to become millionaires in the near future. 8 years ago it was dotcom drones, these days I meet people all the time who quit real jobs to become real estate investors, that won't end well.

If you think you're gonna retire by the age of 35, its easy to believe safety nets (like unions) are for losers and the creative destruction of the free market can only help you. Its that mindset that put Herbert Hoover in the White House, and its a large part of why W. is still there (though a bigger factor was people freaked out by terrorists gunning for THEM).

There's a recent book (yours for only 9 cents via Amazon) that states the thesis perfectly,
"Millionaire Republicans: Why Rich Republicans Get Rich-- And How You Can Too!"

I'll only add the link to prove I'm not making it up, learning "The 18 Republican Secrets of Mega-Wealth and Unlimited Success" is not worth 9 cents.
http://www.amazon.com/Millionaire-Republican-Rich-Republicans-Rich/dp/1585424307

Posted by: beowulf on April 25, 2007 at 2:40 AM | PERMALINK

Well let's see. Top professors and administrators salaries have gone up big time, but not nearly as much as CEOs, CFOs, etc.; and at least peer to peer comparisons are easily and openly available and their output critically evaluated.

Tuition inflation seems to be the same for private schools as much as any others, religious foundations as much as secular.

Any business with health care costs as a goodly component will exceed base inflation rates.

I don't know how much cross-subsidy there might be, but we expect a much higher proportion of our workforce to have post-grad education and I wonder if both government and privately funded research and grants have expanded at the same rate as colleges generally and post-grad positions imparticular.

I know that in a number of state university systems the state funding has been dropping in real terms. I know that higher proprtions of highschool graduates are taking remedial classes at college because we are failing to educate properly at any level.

There's a problem and I don't think there is much point in thinking this is one party's problem. This is a US problem. And it arises in red and blue states who each have the responsibility for running their own systems and making sure there is a healthy environment for other schools, too.

And, yes, it might simply be a function of encouraging too many to go to universities or not having enough cheaper places to go to. But it would seem like the loan makers have been taking quite a bit of gravy out of the whole thing, and I'd bet the Republicans might have something to do with that.

Posted by: notthere on April 25, 2007 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

A different Matt - yes, that is college debt. My son got a scholarship to a Jesuit school, and he took it, but even with the $80K the scholarship covered, he ended up borrowing $10K a year for the expenses the scholarship and grants didn't cover.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, notthere, it probably is not useful to think of the quickly rising cost of tuition as being one party's problem, which is why I mocked the "Evil Republicans are causing college students to go into debt" nonsense.

Posted by: Will Allen on April 25, 2007 at 2:55 AM | PERMALINK

Well, we've got a test case coming up soon: the Dept of Commerce held hearings yesterday on anti-dumping tariffs on Vietnamese apparel exports. It's a particularly silly measure because almost nothing made in Vietnam is actually made in the US anymore, so there may be no legal grounds for action under US or WTO rules. But Lindsey Graham and Liz Dole got this measure tacked on as payback for supporting Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Vietnam last fall, so now DoC has to monitor Vietnamese exports and decide whether there's any dumping going on -- which in the case of economies the US deems "non-market economies" is a very unpredictable decision.

Because it's so unpredictable, in fact, US companies have stopped ordering from Vietnam; they have no way to calculate the risk of getting slapped with retroactive antidumping duties. They've switched orders to the Philippines, Indonesia etc. All very pointless, but it lets Liz Dole and Lindsay Graham pretend to their voters that they're standing up for average folks' interests. The question is whether Democratic lawmakers will also support this nonsense.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on April 25, 2007 at 3:10 AM | PERMALINK

Most young people haven't been fucked over often enough to notice that the world economy isn't being run for their benefit.

Posted by: Boronx on April 25, 2007 at 3:29 AM | PERMALINK

Or could it be that people aged 18-34 just don't have the experience of life necessary to judge wisely in such matters?

Posted by: Nancy Irving on April 25, 2007 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

A long time ago Americans generally agreed on something called the American dream. As I recall the generation that fought WWII believed that America promised its people that if a young person got an education, and worked hard he or she would be able to find an opportunity that paid enough to allow them to marry, buy a house, raise their kids and save for retirement. For a long time that American dream seemed real. Older people felt a responsibility to pass it forward. There was competition, but the competition seemed to be within a framework of growing America, helping the maximum number of America's employees achieve the American dream. America flourished as real wages went up. There was more and more wealth shared among a larger and larger group. As the entire community became more wealthy, the wealth of individuals grew. They were salad days.

Then we had the rise of the "greed is good" crowd in the Republican think tanks and the nations elite MBA programs. They don't want to work hard. They are actively dislike other Americans and feel no obligation to foster the shared American dream. They don't mind stealing if it helps them personally. They rigged the rules to help their tiny slice of America. They elected the current administration that has been singlemindedly true to the greed is good crowd and their self-centered view of America.

In an effort to survive many Americans, watching their standard of living decline, have turned to their real estate equity to finance their very existence. There were and are fewer good opportunities. The American dream has been forgotten in this every man and woman for himself as we return to the gilded age of prirates and self-important charlatans spewing division and profiting by decline.

The reason the President won't call us to sacrifice for the war on terror is simple. The greed is good, gated community, we want America to look like a Banana Republic crowd, realize that the common sacrifice of WWII lead to people actually embracing the American dream and a generation of former warriors willing to work to see that dream succeed for everybody willing to work hard.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 25, 2007 at 4:47 AM | PERMALINK

We need to convince America's young people that what this country needs is not "free trade" so much as "fair trade". Big difference.

We shouldn't have to compete with countries that have no child labor laws, dump toxic chemicals in the air and water and use prison (read, slave) labor to manufacture their products. We should boycott them.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 25, 2007 at 6:18 AM | PERMALINK

So as someone training to be a college prof, I can say that most don't make that much money. Even at the Ivy League, the people make far less money than they would going into the private sector, considering the amount of education they have. (And keep in mind our salaries are close to non-existent until we finish that education.)
This isn't to excuse high tuition, or say that possibly the debt is the result of professors' salaries, but it would be nice to see some empirical data. Possibly health care and retirement are doing it, which are often better than the private sector. I don't know.
But just because prices are going up, doesn't mean labor's getting more money.
But does anyone have info. I work in academia and have no idea why tuition keeps going up. (I also have a lot of college debt, for what it's worth.)

Posted by: dbake on April 25, 2007 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

Younger people appear far more willing than their elders to acknowledge, as Ryan does, that America can't wall itself off from the global economy.

That's the usual biased misrepresentation of what's at stake with glabalization.


but it turns out he's also a big fan of Alvin Toffler

Yeah, so is Newt Gingrich. Joy.

Whatever happens, we can't let the old Democrats play any role, right, Kevin? Because the world belongs to Republicans and New Democrats.

Posted by: John Emerson on April 25, 2007 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

At this point trade liberalization is just a part of the landscape. You have to learn to survive in it. Personally, I just test out our cat's food on the neighbor's cat for a few weeks before I start using it for real.

Anyway, reminds me of this teenager I saw the other day. Tried to ride the rail outside our office building and ended up smashing his balls and writhing around in pain. Like to see a resondent over fifty try that. Probably bail out.

The 70 percent of Americans who aren't fans of free trade and job insecurity are basically pussies.

Posted by: B on April 25, 2007 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

dbake,

I suspect that in the case of state financed colleges and universities reduction in state funding is a big factor. When confronted with ever mounting medicare bills and ever higher cost of running their prison systems, most states will find money whereever they can. Reducing funding for higher education is an obvious option. The colleges and universities raise tuition in response.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 25, 2007 at 8:00 AM | PERMALINK

The colleges and universities raise tuition in response.

It's a feature, not a bug.

There's a ready-made constituency for pulling up the most available ladder into the treehouse, comprising those who have already made it.

Upward mobility is a threat to some, and a boon to others -- and guess who's making the law?

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on April 25, 2007 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Also, these young folks largely don't have the responsibility of spouses and kids, so if they drown, they ain't taking anyone else with them.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 8:59 AM | PERMALINK

the cost of higher education has risen dramatically primarily at private institutions...so state funding's not the issue (most state universities still have yearly in-state tuition at 5K or less).

the cost has risen at private institutions for two primary reasons:

A. amenities. this is competition-related. been on a college campus lately?

B. financial aid.

as for 40-60K college debt...BFD.

a. that's not much.
b. you can consolidate that for 30 years at a very low interest rate and just pay $200 a month.

the real problem is that with the four year college degree becoming the new high school diploma....grad or professional school is becoming a necessity. then you're looking at 100-150K in loans.

as for Global Citizen, I don't think you can blame your son being a slacker on the U.S. economy.

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

So Nathan is now insulting other people's kids? Nice.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

GC chose to bring her son into the conversation...thus making him fair game.

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

thus making him fair game.

Ah, wingnuts -- always blaming their lack of morals on others.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Pretty dire straights.
Posted by: Everblue Stater

Unless this is a tongue-in-cheek reference to their sexual orientation/fashion sense, the word is 'straits'.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 25, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

There's a ready-made constituency for pulling up the most available ladder into the treehouse, comprising those who have already made it.

Upward mobility is a threat to some, and a boon to others -- and guess who's making the law?
Posted by: Davis X. Machina

Yep. And the tenured profs whose salaries have gone up enormously, though not at the same bloated rate as university presidents, just happen also to be the ones making the decisions to staff schools with hordes of desperate adjuncts making a pittance and ever at threat of losing the their tenuous foothold.

This business of pulling up the ladder after one has had the good fortune to scramble up it is epidemic throughout our culture.

'"Things have reached such a state of affairs," the journalist George Orwell once wrote, "that the first duty of every intelligent person is to pay attention to the obvious." The editors of The Economist have done just that. The pro-business magazine considered by many to be the most influential defender of capitalism on the newsstand, produced a sobering analysis of what is happening to the old notion that any American child can get to the top. A growing body of evidence - some of it I have already cited - led the editors to conclude that with "income inequality growing to levels not seen since the Gilded Age and social mobility falling behind, the United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society." The editors point to an "education system increasingly stratified by social class" in which poor children "attend schools with fewer resources than those of their richer contemporaries" and great universities that are "increasingly reinforcing rather than reducing these educational inequalities." They conclude that America's great companies have made it harder than ever "for people to start at the bottom and rise up the company hierarchies by dint of hard work and self-improvement." ' - Bill Moyers

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 25, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

"A long time ago Americans generally agreed on something called the American dream"

Ron Byers nails it.

When I was a child we had people called milkmen.

Like magic there was fresh milk, delivered in a reusable glass bottle to your door every morning. Today this would be menial work, but the milkman actually made a fair wage and could afford a house and a car. The milk came from a dairy located within 50 miles of where you lived. It didn't have hormones in it. When you were finished with the bottles, they were reused. Milk wasn't expensive.

Every town had a soft drink bottling plant. Your bottle of Coke didn't come from 1500 miles away. People were employed in your town making it. When you were finished with the bottles, you took the bottles back and they were reused. While soda was a treat, it wasn't expensive either.

The doctor was somebody who came to your house if you were really sick. He wasn't expensive either.

The anecdotes could go on and on... so what happened America?

Where did the jobs go? First to the machines... then to even cheaper machines pennies a day human labor overseas.

Where did all the money we 'saved' go? To make lots of billionaires.

Why did this happen? The inability of the American people to see that they were only robbing themselves when they accepted tons of trashy consumer goods in exchange for quality of life in their own country.

Posted by: Buford on April 25, 2007 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, the polar ice caps are melting.

Posted by: Kenji on April 25, 2007 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Slacker? Where do you come up with that? I said nothing about him being a slacker, you asshole. He's a linguist and he makes his living teaching ESL abroad. I said he works on a contract basis. Where the fuck did you get slacker from that, jackass? He is unwilling to bite off more debt so he is chipping away at grad school slowly.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

During my own little campaign for the state house of reps (as a Republican in a district that has been safe for Democrats for generations)
the one real Democratic weakness I detected was trade policy and immigration. A lot of working-class Democrats are really starting to question whether the Democratic party really cares for them.

When I canvassed door-to-door the people most intent on holding me up while they ranted were upset because not only were immigrants taking most of the available jobs, but were often doing so with fraudulent identities. For insteance, the 15-year-old driving a ten-ton dump truck who has a heavy-truck driver's license from California. The license is meaningless. If the kid is caught and fired (rarely deported) he will be back next week with a new driver's license.

All employers have to do is see and photo-copy some type of ID for their files. We aren't talking "jobs no one else will do" here. By the pressure of numbers Hispanics are taking over many sectors of construction so completely that non-Hispanics now find themselves as a practical matter walled out of entry-level jobs and illegal immigrants increasingly dominate the ranks of higher skilled union jobs with some pretty heavy handed political in-fighting within the unions.

Since I am a Republican, I didn't have a lot of problem with those things. The bottom line is that anytime someone will work harder for less, they are going to get the business in a free market. But still, I admitted to a lot of rank and file Democrats that they don't have a party which will stand up for them. The Republicans like cheap labor and the Democrat Party here in Washington like cheap votes--they will take those false identity masses and register them to vote en masse. To catch them out on these practices is ruinously expensive because it has to be done on a case by case basis, starting with accusing someone of not really being a citizen.

But there are all kinds of permutations on these stories. I met one Anglo guy who grew up working in a Mexican sweat shop. He lived in San Diego and couldn't legally get a job at 14. He soon discovered he could walk across the border and work all he wanted while he learned Spanish by immersion! I had much the same experience way back in the 1960's when I was the only Anglo working on a railroad track maintenance crew for the Milwaukee railroad. I almost got killed a couple times because I went drinking with my new buddies after work and they really were a crazy bunch of Mexicans and proud to prove it!

Higher education is spoz'd to be the way out such situations. Republicans are happy to sell the naive student a pile of loans for college they will never pay off. Democrats are happy to run over-rated institutions of learning that basically do high school remediation in junior college while at 4-year universities you rarely see a real professor doing a lecture unless it is to come in for a day and spout off on his or her political passion of the moment. Otherwise hideously exploited grad students do all the heavy lifting of teaching, which mainly means assigning reading in books you have to purchase from other political monopolies.

One of these days the great American economy might be exposed as rather hollow and vulnerable.
When that day comes, politics will become really interesting. . .

Posted by: mike cook on April 25, 2007 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

As far as I know, you have no idea if GC's son is a slacker since she did not indicate this herself-she just said that he is carrying debt from college expenses. What you wrote seems like an unwarranted insult.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on April 25, 2007 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Everything Nathan posts is a general offense and an insult.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

GC said it herself:

"My son has not had a job since e tended bar while still in school. He lives contract to contract, teaching ESL classes in other countries."

and if he has a four year degree in linguistics he's wasting it teaching ESL (which doesn't require it). he should be in grad school...

the teaching English in a foreign country for 1-2 years is a common post-college experience. but if you do it any longer than that you're fucking your resume. seriously. employers see that as a sign of a slacker. heck, so does GC...she admitted that what her son does doesn't count as a job.

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Younger people appear far more willing than their elders to acknowledge...that America can't wall itself off from the global economy.

Wisdom is like good wine; both need the right amount of aging...As for the results of the poll Roth cites, I wonder how much of that is related to the free market PR-BS that's been pushed over the past twenty-five years or so.

Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 9:37 AM:

GC chose to bring her son into the conversation...thus making him fair game.

Wow. So what if GC brought up a personal anecdote? You went out of your way to make an unnecessary cheap shot when the rest of your post - 'tho I don't agree with it - was a sufficient response.

I guess your need to lash out supercedes any standard of civil discourse. Why does that not suprise me, Nathan?

Posted by: grape_grush on April 25, 2007 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

A lot of working-class Democrats are really starting to question whether the Democratic party really cares for them. - MIke Cook

Can't tell you how it pains me to agree with Mike Cook but this is absolutely so. Democrats who try to push through STRIVE or something like it as going to run into a buzzsaw.

The backlash will be stunning because this is not in the best interests of the broad mass of the American people. And that's whose interests they are elected to serve.

" STRIVE stands for "Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy." Sounds pretty good, huh?

Yet, if you were to read through its 700 pages, you'd see that it represents one group's attempt to manipulate the system against another group - and also against the national interest. Do you think the working class in America has it too good? Do you want to make sure that you always have the option of replacing your current workers - the ones who do your meatpacking, or landscaping, or household toiling - with even hungrier workers? And do you not care about crime and social chaos, as long as they happen in someone else's neighborhood? Or perhaps disuniting the whole United States, after you're dead? Then STRIVE is for you." - James P. Pinkerton

Mass immigration always pushes people farther to the right. All the things liberals are supposed to want - better schools, investment in productive infrastructure, quality of life, economic opportunity, a fairer distribution of the rewards of our system in general are incompatible with mass immigration at the levels we've been experiencing for the last 20 years.


'Past studies have shown that even in a state like California, which has the highest number of undocumented immigrants, those immigrants generate approximately one-third to one-half of their estimated costs to the state through sales taxes and other assorted fees.'
http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/

'"The winners in the illegal immigration struggle are major corporations and their favorite political acolytes. For robber barons the status quo provides an ideal scenario in which they bleed their employees while generating societal strife that can be demagogued by Republican politicians. The GOP cannot win when Americans vote based on economic self-interest, so it is essential that the electorate vote its resentments. By destroying this nation’s working class and benefiting politically from the fallout, Corporate America is achieving a tour de force of malevolence.'
David Podvin http://www.smirkingchimp.com/article.php?
sid=25804&mode=nested
apr2006/pi20060407_072803.htm

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 25, 2007 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

That is not what I said. Hewould LOVE to have a regular job. They don't freakin' exist anymore.

As to grad school - he's doing it - slowly to avoid accumulating more debt.

And speaking of grad school - I have to go give some undergrads their moneys worth...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 10:43 AM:

..the teaching English in a foreign country for 1-2 years is a common...blah, blah, blah...

What the fuck does this have to do with the topic at hand? Oh yeah - you want to show how the GOP can continue to marginalize itself; this time by alienating younger voters and by pissing people off in general.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 25, 2007 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

wow, we have a bunch of geriatric hippies on this thread.

as for GC's son, of course he can get a job if he really wants to. this isn't 2002.

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

That is not what I said. Hewould LOVE to have a regular job. They don't freakin' exist anymore. - BGRS

You could have asked that guy at NASA held on by a thread for ten years as a perma-temp contract worker about this issue but...

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 25, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

MsN; No shit.

Nathan, I don't have to justify my son's choices to the likes of you. He's young and healthy and chooses to work contracts and take classes as time permits and not have benefits.

He isn't a slacker, he's a realist. He put pen to paper and made the best of his reality. He makes more money, and forgoes security, insurance, pensions, all the benefits that come from a symbiotic employer/employee relationship.

I lived a different economy in the post Vietnam years than my parents did in the post-war WW-II years. Our kids are living a different reality than we did. Refusal to accept that is just obtuse.

I'll be emailing him later. I'll send your regards.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

DBake: So as someone training to be a college prof, I can say that most don't make that much money. Even at the Ivy League, the people make far less money than they would going into the private sector, considering the amount of education they have. (And keep in mind our salaries are close to non-existent until we finish that education.)
This isn't to excuse high tuition, or say that possibly the debt is the result of professors' salaries, but it would be nice to see some empirical data. Possibly health care and retirement are doing it, which are often better than the private sector. I don't know.
But just because prices are going up, doesn't mean labor's getting more money.
But does anyone have info. I work in academia and have no idea why tuition keeps going up. (I also have a lot of college debt, for what it's worth.)

DBake, I'm married to an academic -- someone near retirement. Professors don't make huge salaries, but they're paid much, much better than then were. Forty years ago, Professors were paid worse than high school teachers.

Like you, I wonder what universities are doing with all the money they now have. Tuition at the University of Chicago in 1959 was $900 per year. In today's dollars, that's equivalent to $6,278. Real tuition has quadrupled or quintupled. Yet, college education was just fine fifty years ago.

I hope Blue Girl will look at these figures and realize who to blame for the debt today's young people have to endure.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 25, 2007 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

BGRS(GC): My son has not had a job since e tended bar while still in school. He lives contract to contract, teaching ESL classes in other countries.

That's an interesting story. Teaching ESL in China and India and elsewhere is a growth industry.

My son went to an Ivy League college on an NROTC scholarship, and got a job in a tech company as soon as he finished off his obligation to the Navy.

I don't think either story has any implications for U.S. economic policy. Had they both studied nursing they could have well-paying jobs in almost any part of the U.S. with little accumulated debt. Additionally, there are thousands of openings posted right now at www.biotech.com.

There is no defense against the competition in the world economy. Only 5% of the world lives in the U.S., and if that is your only market, then you're in trouble.

One further comment. The post quoted by Kevin sounds like "Clintonomics".

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 25, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib, I was just relating on 24-year-old males reality. The one he tells his mom about, anyway.

I'm in academia too. If I think about it all too much, my head would explode. Freakin' endowments alone could cover educations for all.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Nathan,

People who work from contract to contract are called independent contractors, or self employed. As a life long member of the society of the self-employed I can tell you that most of us who eat what we kill work our asses off. The greatest slackers are the folks who work for belief tanks.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 25, 2007 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

GC:

I'm 32. I work for myself...foregoing benefits of that sort as well. I'm fully familiar with the modern economy.

my point was that he is screwing his resume if he does the ESL thing for more than couple years (kids have always been doing that as a brief-college thing and a chance to live somewhere else for 1-2 years...heck, I almost did it)...employers will see it as a bad sign if he does it for longer than that.

as for grad school...he should just do it, loans be damned.

why? grad school tuition (as opposed to professional programs) is usually paid for. (especially Ph.D. work)...so he's looking at loans for living expenses. so, maybe he's 100K in debt when he gets out.

he also hits the work force 3-4 years earlier...which over a career is well worth the extra 50K borrowed.

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan is an insufferable ass,
Whose comments are expulsions of gas,
He'll insult your kid,
With his run amok id.
The sum of his character: low class.


Fuck off Rent-A Shyster. We're not buying crazy today.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 25, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

mhr, you have never been a teacher have you. Fifteen classroom hours probably translates to 35-40 hours of work if you count class prep, working with students, and paper grading.

You are right, high school teachers work their asses off.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 25, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

mhr, ever the moronic tool, has obviously never heard of adjuncts, and how the concept is being abused by colleges to cut their labor costs.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers:

um, I've done the same thing. but teaching ESL isn't really one equivalent to professional contract work. it's a slacker job for 22 year olds. which is fine...when you're 22.

GC opened herself up because she was trying to make some larger point about the economy..which was asinine. kids really couldn't find jobs in 2002. that's not true in 2007.

he's electing to do this...which is fine...but don't pretend that it says anything about employment prospects.

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib & Blue Girl, the reason why college tuition rates have skyrocketed isn't because professors get paid exorbitantly, it's because of demographics and tightening state budgets. Forty years ago, both the states and the federal government generously subsidized higher education for the 15-20% or so of high school grads who went on to get bachelor degrees. But as the percentage of students going on to college has grown, the amount of state and federal aid has failed to keep pace with their rising numbers. The result is that colleges and universities have had to increase the amount students pay in tuition. (Of course health care costs have had a huge impact on university budgets as it has everywhere else, but tuition has been rising long before health care costs started spiraling out of control.) As it is, students still don't pay the real cost of their education in state colleges and universities.

Posted by: David W. on April 25, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Ron:

I'm highly amused that you think 35-40 hours a week is hard work. but maybe that's just the NY'er in me.

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

GC opened herself up because she was trying to make some larger point about the economy..which was asinine.

What's asinine is your continued harangue, Nathan.

To quote Greogry, your opinion isn't worth a bucket of piss.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 25, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

David W. is on to something.


(and people who think that a 110K professor's salary is a significant percentage of an university's budget...can't count)

Posted by: Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

mhr "...one of the few living Democtrats possessed with a brain."

Like anyone here gives a crap about what you think Democtrats are possessed with!

Posted by: Kenji on April 25, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'm amused that after having his ass handed to him uncountable times, Nathan continues to distort what others write in order to make points known only to himself.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

I never said Community College teachers work hard, just that they work more than 15 hours a week.

My comment about hard working teachers referred to high school teachers. Most of the teachers I have know over the years worked about 10 hours a day. For a fixed salary job, that is pretty hard work.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 25, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

Even if I were to grant you all you claim about GC's son (which I don't since contract work is still work), what you wrote is still a cheap shot. Now some on this site probably have earned nothing but cheap shots, but I don't think GC is one of them, even though I disagree with her about most things.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on April 25, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

..maybe that's just the NY'er in me.

No, it's the pompous ass in you. Shall I just posting some of your greatest hits to demonstrate what a know-nothing, mendacious twit you are, Nathan?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 25, 2007 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

oh I see, it isn't the fault of the evil Republicans that students become burdened with debt for the rest of their lives--it's all the evil Democrats' fault, because surely all those college presidents and administrators are evil Democrats.

oh, and don't forget that those graduates are just a bunch of slackers anyway, with aging hippies for parents.

This is what passes for argument from the conservatards these days. Can't blame them for being disgruntled--they lost the last election and their president is a moronic failure. LOL

Posted by: haha on April 25, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

I was not making a larger point about the economy. Anyone here will tell you I would never do that because I am not qualified.

You want to talk about clinical labs and prion biology - I'm your gal. You want to figure out your governors carbon footprint - pick me.

I was relating one typical kids experience. That's all. I don't spout off about econ because I am quickly out of my depth. I realize it, and for that reason I mostly just read these threads and try to learn something.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

The House Judiciary Comm just granted Goodling immunity.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan, we're all amused that you actually think we believe that you're anything but an unlaid loser and troll who poses a successful attorney.

you're not fooling anyone but yourself, which might be interesting from a clinical study standpoint, but otherwise it's just pathetic. The more you post the worse you look, but people such as yourself can never see that.

Posted by: haha on April 25, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan has about the worst reading skills I have ever seen in a lawyer.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

I never said Community College teachers work hard

I'll say it. With a bit of authority on the subject, since I'm posting this from my office computer on a CC campus.

We work our asses off and the job is changing rapidly.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

10 hours of retail is harder than 60 hours of "shooting the shit".

Posted by: Karmakin on April 25, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

...what you wrote is still a cheap shot.
Yes, but Yancey, Nathan is incapable of admitting that he's wrong. He does quite the opposite:

I, of course, predicted the entire course of the Plame affair, with virtually 100% accuracy. is that what you're referring to?
Posted by: Nathan on April 12, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Bwah ha ha ha ha!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 25, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you for being a mensch, Yancy.

Thanks for the limerick, Apollo.

I'm smiling big over here, and heading off to class.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 25, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

and don't forget that the people who run the private student loan business must all be Democrats too, just like the credit card companies which prey on the young and ignorant--and who lobbeied heavily for the bankruptcy bill which the Republican congress passed and Bush eagerly signed.

Guess who was a huge contributor to the Bush campaign? That's right, the evil Democrats who control MBNA.

Posted by: haha on April 25, 2007 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan on April 25, 2007 at 11:35 AM:

I'm highly amused that you think 35-40 hours a week is hard work. but maybe that's just the NY'er in me.

Yeeeah...Ron's point was that fifteen hours of classroom time translates to a 35-40 hour workweek...High school teachers - who spend somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty-five hours a week of classroom time - by extension, are working their asses off putting in 60-70 hour work weeks.

Glad to clear that up for you, counselor...

Posted by: grape_crush on April 25, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Funny Kevin, but I sense that the sheen has long since come off the "Free Trade is a total good for the US economy crowd". Even the true believers are casting doubts:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070430/greider

Posted by: bibble on April 25, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

this may be bad news for the populist wing of the party

I do not equate protectionism with populism, except as a very broad nationalist appeal that ignores any economic understanding of the benefits of trade. Protectionism is a form of benefit to a minority at the expense of the majority, so to call it populism is either a misunderstanding or a belief that protectionism is soley a policy of demagogues.

Posted by: Brojo on April 25, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Many employers have realized that they will have a large number of takers if they make the entry-level positions for their company be unpaid internships. So if your parents can pay your rent post-college, you're all set.

The most stable jobs are (not surprisingly) the ones that have legal protection and whose entry paths are tightly regulated -- accounting, law, medicine, etc.

The stable corporate middle management positions available to most everyone who had a college degree aren't really around anymore.

Posted by: Tyro on April 25, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, yeah.

Because we all know how many undecided voters are finally swayed in their pick for president by reviewing positions on trade policy.

Posted by: catherineD on April 25, 2007 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Will Allen (re: Republicans): I bet if you bound them up, and tossed them in a pond, it would be shown that they are witches!

Maybe, maybe not, but I'm certainly willing to try the experiment.

Posted by: alex on April 25, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

from the article: In a recent poll, 41 percent of respondents aged eighteen to thirty-four agreed that free trade deals help the United States. Among respondents fifty and over, that figure was just 18 percent.

So in either case it's a minority. The purpose of a representative gov't is to represent the views of the people. So how can anyone running for office and promoting "free" trade claim to be doing that?

Posted by: alex on April 25, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Because what this country needs is more Tofflerites in Congress (that was sarcasm). For those that don't know, Newt is also a big fan of Alvin Toffler.

Posted by: TheScu on April 25, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK
Younger people appear far more willing than their elders to acknowledge, as Ryan does, that America can't wall itself off from the global economy. In a recent poll, 41 percent of respondents aged eighteen to thirty-four agreed that free trade deals help the United States. Among respondents fifty and over, that figure was just 18 percent.

An alternative explanation is that younger people are more likely to be naively optimistic about "free trade"; heck, I'll admit I was when I was younger (though I'm not that much past 34...)

Particularly, I suspect they are more likely to believe that so-called "free trade" is actually free trade, rather than selectively managed trade designed to serve the interest of major capitalists.


Posted by: cmdicely on April 25, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

That is not what I said. Hewould LOVE to have a regular job. They don't freakin' exist anymore.

The last sentence is a comment about the economy.

but the example given was merely a particular case of particular choices. People who made other choices at the same time got regular jobs in the same economy.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on April 25, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: An alternative explanation is that younger people are more likely to be naively optimistic about "free trade"

An example of the power of propaganda - say something often enough and people will start to believe it.

Posted by: alex on April 25, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't rule out Israel as the big fault line in the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Carl Nyberg on April 25, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

"the Democrat Party here in Washington like cheap votes--they will take those false identity masses and register them to vote en masse. To catch them out on these practices is ruinously expensive because it has to be done on a case by case basis, starting with accusing someone of not really being a citizen."
Mike Cook

The Republican party has been trotting out this crap out since Loretta Sanchez handed B-1 Bob Dornan his ass. If there are so many illegal imigrants voting, why can they never catch one?
We are talking about people that won't call the police when they get robbed because they fear deportation, and old Mike Cook thinks they are voting?

If you want to find fraudulent voters, cross-check people who have houses in more than one state and vote absentee. I'd bet they overwhelmingly vote for Republicans.

There are three great Republican myhtological figures: The Canadian down here for health care, the Mexican up here to vote, and the pacifist hippie that spits on trained killer Viet Nam vets. I'm betting that we see Sasquach riding on the back of the Loch Ness monster before we see those three.

Posted by: Jim 7 on April 25, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't rule out Israel as the big fault line in the Democratic Party.

From your keyboard to God's LCD screen.

Posted by: Disputo on April 25, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK
…. People who made other choices at the same time got regular jobs in the same economy. MatthewRmarler at 4:51 PM
Are you sure about that? Did you check with ex-Circuit City employees or the guys in your neighborhood supermarket? There is no job security in this country. Management will not pay for increased productivity and will gladly fire anyone if it makes corporate profits and their own salary increase. Posted by: Mike on April 26, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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