Quote of the Day: Paul Krugman

At the beginning of last week, the commentariat was in raptures over the Serious, Courageous, Game-Changing Ryan plan. But now that the plan has been exposed as the cruel nonsense it is, what we’re hearing a lot about is the need for more civility in the discourse. President Obama did a bad thing by calling cruel nonsense cruel nonsense; he hurt Republican feelings, and how can we have a deal when the GOP is feeling insulted? What we need is personal outreach; let’s do lunch!

[Where] were all the demands for civility when Republicans were denouncing Obama as a socialist, accusing him of creating death panels, etc..? Why is it OK for Republicans to accuse Obama of stealing from Medicare, but not OK for Obama to declare, with complete truthfulness, that those same Republicans are trying to dismantle the whole program?

Beyond that, are we dealing with children here? Is one of our two major political parties run by people so immature that they will refuse to do what the country needs because the president hasn’t been nice to them?

— Paul Krugman (Princeton University)

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Surely You Can’t Be Serious

by Norman Horowitz

Ted Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.

Dr. Rumack: I am serious…and don’t call me Shirley.

— Airplane! (1980)

Today’s Yiddish word of the day is sechel. Loosely translated, it means “just plain smarts, a grasp on what really is and really counts, that cuts and sees through it all, that guides you to do the right thing the right way at the right time, to size up what’s really going on, to see where someone really comes from, to understand what does and doesn’t matter.” A modern-day synonym might be “street smarts.”

I enlisted in the Air Force in 1952 at the age of 19. I spent 4 years assuming that somehow in the upper echelons of the Command Structure there was “brilliance” because there sure was no sign of it that I could see. There was a good deal of “smart” around me but without any of the brilliance that I expected to see.   Continue reading “Surely You Can’t Be Serious”

The “Pay Freeze” Isn’t New…We’ve Experienced It for 30+ Years

The federal budget deficit is the highest it’s been since World War II. Multiple studies have alleged that government employees earn more than workers in the private market. So, naturally, President Obama announced a “pay freeze” for federal workers.

This, supposedly, is news. Well, at a time when unemployment is 9.8% and interest rates are near 0%, there really isn’t much of an excuse for the government to spend less on anything because that’s less consumption, which leads to less hiring and a slower recovery, so yea, it’s news.

But you know what’s even bigger news? The fact that we’ve been living through a “pay freeze” since the 1970s!   Continue reading “The “Pay Freeze” Isn’t New…We’ve Experienced It for 30+ Years”