The solution to a bad economic situation is always to make it worse. Why? Honestly, no one really knows.
Everybody bashes the Mormons, but they did have a solution for homelessness, as well as the social cohesion and infrastructure to assist their members in economic distress. Believe it or not, the government cannot replace a family or a community.
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By your twisted logic, saddling the taxpayers with this overpriced fiasco was some kind of tonic against the recession? Bizarre.
Then again, not surprising that a communist likes pork barrel, vanity, make-work projects.
No Slog comment thread would be complete without somebody contorting themselves into a pretzel to divert attention from inept Lefties by bashing conservatives exercising religious freedom. Never mind the fact that the Lefties have no problem spending the taxes of said conservatives on all kinds of doomed and ill-conceived mega projects and social engineering schemes.
The right wingers really are monsters, with their nuclear families and traditional values.
The solution to a bad economic situation is always to make it worse. Why?
I'm no economist, but my father is (not kidding), so my guess is that we make it worse because the government (public sector) has been pushed for decades to act more like a business. So when the private sector economy goes bad, money becomes scarce (e.g. high interest, or collateral for loans of any kind), and as such the velocity of money slows down... money doesn't change hands very quickly, and between fewer players when it does move. Subsequently tax income for the public sector slows down, and the technocrats --taught to think like a business-- try to reduce expenses to "balance the books". This of course further restricts the flow of money.
By investing in society, public sector spending gets money flowing again.
Of course there may be one caveat, and I can't really say, but it's possible that US capitalists have managed to structure the economy such that any money flows end up flowing to the rich, who of course hoard it in massive investment portfolios (rentier efforts), or stash it off-shore. So even if the public sector 'primes the pump' so to speak, the hoses that have been connected manage to drain that extra money elsewhere, away from the local community that needs it. This is one of the key problems with the "Global Economy", money can be siphoned out of the local economy very easily.
Charles' theory is quite sound, his application is the problem. The basics are simple--deficit spending on intrastructure during a recession is excellent policy, for three reasons:
1. Labor is plentiful, the projects will be cheaper than they would be during normal times. This stuff needs doing eventually.
2. Money is cheap, because recession.
3. More employed people means more money in circulation, which means a less severe/long recession.
Well said, treacle. This is why liberalism has turned into the same sham as the much hated neoconservatism.
So you're welcome, asshole. Not really, though.
FDR would argue that using taxes and other measures to free up capital from the wealthiest among us is as important, if not more important, than job producing government infrastructure. The latter basically just recycles money, as the poor pay the taxes that they are eventually just making back in labor. Freeing up stagnant capital is key to ending a recession.
The thought that Bertha ever had a positive impact on the economy of the region is as absurd as the 3.3% unemployment number or calling that effectively full employment. Once you consider the underemployed and the individuals who have dropped off the employment/underemployment rolls, the employment outlook in this region is much more grim. What has brought back Seattle's prosperity is a re-inflation of the real estate and technology bubbles, almost precisely like the bubbles that were inflated back during the Clinton Administration.
If the world were run by sane capitalists, Seattle and other cities would end the Boeing/M$ tax loopholes in times of distress, balancing their budgets with a swipe of the pen. There is simply no need for deficit spending on said meaningful projects (of which Bertha is not one).
Rolling out Keynes is the point where any sane economist knows you've lost it completely. Keynesian economics have proven to be a failure at keeping the Market in check, so much so it is effectively Randian in practice. Rand would say "Do whatever you want.", where Keynes quibbles with "These rules prevent you from simply doing what you want, but these exceptions guarantee you can do whatever you want whenever you want to do it.". Keynesian economics lack teeth, so much so it fails to provide the corrective balances that lie at the heart of its system. Keynes is a failure as an economist, and all one has to do to see that is look out any window.
What saved our butts was the UW ramping up construction in SLU & U Dist (90% of the cranes you saw).
We could have created MORE jobs by building a replacement Viaduct or a surface highway CHEAPER. And it would have caused way less global warming than Bertha will.
If you think conservatives like the idea of fractured families and welfare programs, I think you're somewhat confused. While it's true that this country made need some sort of a safety net for those out of work, the Left has excelled in turning that into a multi-generational big business of it's own. It's interesting that the black churches are hailed by Democrats as valuable rallying places for families and communities besieged by modern demons, yet the other churches are reviled because some of them aren't *all in* on cutting edge leftist sexual redefinition.
Everybody bashes the Mormons, but they did have a solution for homelessness, as well as the social cohesion and infrastructure to assist their members in economic distress. Believe it or not, the government cannot replace a family or a community. Leftists bring this up the most when confronting the difficulties on the tribal reservations that are often compounded by government interference, yet for political reasons ignore the damage done to other poor populations.
The efforts made by many social workers certainly are heroic, even if the programs themselves can be misguided and tend to enable all sorts of destructive behavior patterns and dysfunction.
I live in Seattle even though you seem to think I'm sitting in a double-wide tearing open DSHS checks. I enjoy the insults, though. Really powerful. Maybe you can get more star tattoos on your forearms.
The Left basically argues that there is no need for poverty anymore, and that government is a lesser evil than anarchy. That's why we want the government to be more hands off on social issues, while involving itself in the economy. This is a consistent philosophy in favor of individual choice: economics tend towards fewer choices without government intervention, while the opposite is true of private decisions.
Redirect the bore along the seawall to a Pike/Pine Portal, about 2000' further. Continue the stabilizing rows of concrete piers on both sides of the bore its entire length to make a sensibly stronger seawall and stabilize soils between. Retain Battery Street Tunnel and extend to Harrison, similarly reconnecting the Denny Triangle grid. For Lower Belltown, there are several options to remove the overhead and connect SR99 - a 2-stoplight interchange or rebuild beneath Western/Elliott with access ramps especially important for Interbay/Ballard traffic. This Plan B will certainly cost more. However, if the proposed bore is finished, catastrophic failure is only too probable because the deeper, longer bore amplifies destructive earthquake forces in unstable soils beneath vulnerable historic and modern buildings. If the bore is finished as proposed, Seattle is finished.
@18: What? You mean this solution for the homeless, where the local government - their community - provided the solution that worked so well? Please explain how those two statements are not in direct contradiction, as I am genuinely baffled as to how it could otherwise be interpreted.
Their community is based on religious principles and shared ritual, even assuming that there are people involved who aren't members of that religion, the culture that prevails there is certainly evident.
Theirs isn't a mesh work "community" like ours of competing cosmopolitan interests signalling their status by championing the less fortunate - efforts that often make the recipients permanently dependent on their symbolic largesse. You can argue about God, and any thinking person would, but shared beliefs tend to evoke a wider scope of altruism than do the acts of faithless, though well-intentioned, groups who think the greatest powers in the world reside in political offices or banks.
To put it another way: there's a huge philosophical difference between giving to less fortunate because you believe it's "God's work", and doing it because you want to minimize crime vectors and "reduce harm" in an urban setting to keep the property values up.
And, no, I'm not particularly a fan of that faith for other reasons, but I can say with certainty that you will never see SF or Seattle doing something similar, even if these places are emblematic of radical "progressive" values and a "culture of protest".