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27 July 2016

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Fred

WRC,

Which Governor, the Democrat (O'Malley) who was until January 20th and is now running against Hillary or the Republican who has been in office less than 90 days? Perhaps St. Angelos of the Twitter post can give an update on what his family's political involvement has done to improve things over the past 3 decades.

Tyler

CP,

That's a lot of words to dance around the fact that trial lawyers made the most money out of that and is part and parcel for Baltimore's economic collapse.

Tyler

Maybe we should import more immigrants to do the jobs Americans just won't do.

The spin spin spin in regards to how this is whitey's fault when you have a black controlled city from top to bottom is making me dizzy. There's a reason why Annapolis ain't going to be suffering any riots anytime soon.

Fred

Cee,

" No tax breaks and the import fees for the slave wage..."

That sure creates a problem for Obama's support of the TPP and Clinton's passage of NAFTA.

JJackson

The World Economic Forum produces an annual Global Risks Report the aim of which is “to identify global risks and their interactions, and to assess them on two dimensions: their perceived likelihood and impact”. The 2015 report is the 10th and while the experts used to compile the report are supposed to look at a decadal time scale – which should make changes in the table gradual - it is interesting to see how rapidly one of the key regular tables (Top 5 Global Risks in terms of Likelihood) change.
This may seem an odd post to add to this thread but if I list the top threats from 2007 to 2015 it may become clearer.
2007 – Breakdown of critical infrastructure.
2008-10 – Asset price collapse.
2011 - Storms and Cyclones.
2012-14 – Severe income disparity
2015 – Interstate conflict with regional consequences.
Severe income disparity did not gradually creep up the list it just appeared in first place and stayed there. The tables have many other interesting features for instance in 2007 to 2010 there were 0 (out of 20) risks in the ‘Environmental’ category but post 2011 they make up 11/25.
The reports can be accessed here
http://www.weforum.org/reports?filter[type]=Risks%20Reports
and the table I have been discussing is on page 16 (of the 2015 report).

Will Reks

I think the key takeaway is that wealthy neoliberal elites have supported policies that hurt poor blacks and poor whites alike.

Will Reks

This could happen in NYC, Chicago, or LA and none of those cities are majority controlled by blacks. Detroit is but I haven't heard of any recent major unrest set off by police action there. It's not a black white issue but the race hustlers and reverse race hustlers are making it one.

As for riots.. I think its similar to how Palestinians throw rocks at Israeli police/military. That's all they have the power to do. The media hypes it up and it's fairly effective in making the suburban and rural whites piss themselves in thinking blacks are going to come for them.

Babak Makkinejad

I recommend you take trip to Ghana or to India and see for yourself what the absence of the internal combustion engine does to human body.

The issue is not robots; in my opinion.

The issue is the unwillingness by many to face the fact that the days of economic scarcity are behind us; have been for more than a century.

What is needed is to devise clever ways to keep people occupied so they feel productive and live productive lives.

Valissa

"What is needed is to devise clever ways to keep people occupied so they feel productive and live productive lives."

Exactly Babak, that's the key! One of the reasons I have a low opinion of economics is it's minimal (at best) attention to the issues of jobs and job creation. Lack of employment is acknowledged as a serious issue in a statistical sense, but in the real world I see very little attempt to remedy that. And worse, economists seem to wring their hands and act all helpless about the jobs issue. The availability of jobs is fundamental to social stability. More could be done in this area.

confusedponderer

Tyler,
I seriously doubt the causality you suggest. It is very hard to belive that it was, of all things, lawsuits that killed baltimore's economy. Are you serious?

What you lament is a symptom, not the disease. The trial lawyers made all that money - why? Because the legal system allowed them to secure these damages though punitive damage. Becaues the quota litis made them cash in big. Because asbestos gave them the pretext. Because juries decided in their favour.

Conservatives are said to like tort reform. That is what could fix this - if Republican interest were not primarily about campaign finance. According to Grover Norquist:

"Modest tort reform, much of which has been actively considered by committees in both houses, would defund the trial lawyers, now second only to the unions, and this is debatable, as the funding source of the Left in America"

Yes, now THAT is a reason to reform litigation ...

Alas, in the absense of reform - be it reasonable or along Norquist's lines - you get destructive lawsuits. As I said - to have that instead is a choice that America made.

It's not the layers. Judging by the results there must be a manifest American unwillingness or inability to fix their legal system to prevent such excesses.

But then, with one party rejecting governance as a matter of course, it wouldn't work anyway. Perhaps the market will come to the rescue, and correct the legal system? Would that not be marvellous?

kao_hsien_chih

CP,

I think the logic operates in both directions. (to be fair, US does have a fair amount of compensation mechanism for workplace related injuries, but it is not as flexible when new issues and revelation of hitherto unknown damages arise, or so I understand it--plus the regulation is largely at the state level). The bottom line, no matter the cause, is that much of the "big ticket" workplace injury compensation cases are handled through the judicial means, and I think this is maintained by choices from both sides.

Those who are "injured" are willing to put up with the judiciary-centered, rather than an administrative, system, with aid of the legal industry that see them as the means of enriching themselves. The corporations, especially if they believe that the potential plaintiffs are likely to have relatively weak cases, also prefer the legal venue rather than the administrative venue. This also fits the American suspicion of a bureaucratized process based on allegedly "one-size-fits-all" mechanism in favor of allgedly case-by-case considerations through the court system. (I am not saying that administrative process is always one-size-fits-all or courts are always case-by-case--the truth, I know, is often contrary.) The consequence of these is that whenever some attempt at creating a serious bureaucratic means for handling contentious issues arise, they are shot down from both "liberal" and "conservative" sides. (and knowing the environment, it is not clear that many of these attempts in US are really all that "honest.")

While not on the issue of workplace injury compensation, this is precisely what happened with the healthcare reform business. The idea of creating a centralized, government-led/controlled/aided administrative procedure for dispensing medical care was much lampooned by all and was never given a serious chance. (I don't even think a really serious and workable proposal was ever proposed.) People on the left had to be forcibly dragged kicking and screaming in favor of a proposal that they did not like. People on right saw it as a cross between farce and bureaucratic nightmare, which, I still think, was and still is rather more justified than not. Rather than dwell on whether it was a good idea or bad, I am just using it as an example of how distrust of the state from both sides, feeds into a highly inefficient and often self-destructive consequences seemingly common in American politics.

William R. Cumming

Thanks PFC Chuck!

William R. Cumming

YUP! O'Malley!

William R. Cumming

Thanks JJackson for info and links.

scott s.

Was a 10 year resident of Annapolis, still own property there. What I recall of that era was the love of Willie Don Schaefer. A true old-time pol. Reminded me of Moon Landrieu in New Orleans. I'm not sure things were quite a rosy as their PR machines led us to believe. And in that era I think in Maryland state politics it was Baltimore City and then the rest of Maryland. (Note that in Maryland government organization Baltimore City is entirely independent of any other government, including Baltimore County.)

Schaefer went on eventually to become something of a "governor emeritus" as the elected Comptroller of Md. Baltimore City probably was never what it was portrayed under Schaefer and that's what we see today.

Economically, in my Annapolis days (80's) Annapolis was largely oriented towards Baltimore. But today I would say more towards DC.

kao_hsien_chih

BM and others,

Exactly! And the solution is not exactly unknown either: as John Maynard Keynes supposedly said in jest, you should employ half the unemployed to bury money in empty spaces and employ the other half to dig it up (or something to that effect). It's not so much that academic econs are unaware of these: one could fill many pages with clever but morose econ jokes about "pointless" employments that will change economic stats to make things seem better. But can anyone tell policymakers these tongue-in-cheek (half serious) solutions with a straight face?

Tyler

Will,

Ding ding ding. Winner winner chicken dinner.

Neoliberal policies are crushing the working class, especially the idea of open border immigration artificially depressing the labor market.

Tyler

CP,

I imagine that knocking out a major industry isn't helping.

Tyler

Will,

I should have expanded: Baltimore is mostly black controlled while the Narrative surrounding Ferguson with gentle giant/pre med student Michael Brown was that white controlled Ferguson was systematically oppressing the blacks of Ferguson.

As for your "hypes it up" about blacks coming for whites, well Section 8 and HUD shipping urban blacks to their nice suburbs kinda points towards the fact that yes, blacks are coming for whites the way locusts come.

Unless you think "white flight" has to do with racism vs. the very real threat blacks pose, as illustrated by this series of pictures that for some reason never got as much air time as St. Trayvonius, Gentle Giant Michael Brown, or Freddie Gray:

http://imgur.com/a/XWgKG

Warning: Each of these is pretty horrible for the senseless violence, but as I said, they never make it past the local news.

Tyler

Scott,

I remember living on the Eastern Shore when Schaefer was governor. Even then I can remember the attitude that all the tax dollars went to keep the cities in Western Maryland afloat while they saw nothing back.

Delmarva was a nice place to grow up in, but I wonder how much of that is still around?

elkern

yes, CI, who would have imagined that an African Muslim would lead the USA into the true Workers Paradise. It would never have been possible without the glorious cooperation of the Tea Party Republicans!

elkern

I don't think it's technically hard to deal with the concentration of wealth, but it's politically impossible right now.

All we'd have to do is repeat what ALL developed countries did, over a century ago: shorten the work-week.

Tax the Rich to pay for it(up to, say, 50%?). We'd still have plenty of Billionaires.

Use the money to pay for things we all need and can share (INFRASTRUCTURE again, plus healthcare, education, etc). Most of those things help the rich as well as the poor, just not as much.

Easy, huh?

elkern

Yeah, Infrastructure!

Tax the Rich to pay for it; they'll still get richer. And Infrastructure improvements tend to make it easier for Capital to concentrate (rich get richer faster), so everybody wins.

nick b

Tyler,

Was fishing there this past weekend. Still a beautiful spot.

jerseycityjoan

Babak,

Where's the income coming from?

There may not be enough work for all but there needs to be enough income for all.

We don't even have that in the First World now (not from people working at fulltime jobs in the private sector) and we sure don't have it in the rest of the world.

The world population figures have recently been revised -- upwards! We are at around 7 billion now, 9.6 billion humans are expected to be on Earth in 2050.

The potential Utopia may be there in theory but how will it work in practice?

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