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Links to read 12/16/13

by on December 16, 2013

Time to bury the Clinton economic legacy.

“This story is fundamentally wrong starting with the most basic point: The tax increases and spending cuts put in place by President Clinton would not have balanced the budget, much less led to a large surplus. The Congressional Budget Office’s 1996 projections for the year 2000, still showed a deficit in 2000 equal to 2.5 percent of GDP ($400 billion in today’s economy). These projections were made after all the Clinton-era tax increases and spending cuts were passed into law.

The reason that we had a surplus of 2.5 percent of GDP in 2000 instead of a deficit was that the economy was propelled by a stock bubble. The bubble led to a boom in consumption, which caused the saving rate to hit a record low. There was also a surge in investment as overhyped dotcom companies were able to raise billions on the stock market even if it was entirely unclear how exactly they could make a profit.”

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2013/12/deficits-jobs-fullemploymentbillclinton.html

The Neoliberal dream has come true, unfortunately for them, it doesn’t work.

“In the neoliberal utopia, all of us are forced to spend an inordinate amount of time keeping track of each and every facet of our economic lives. That, in fact, is the openly declared goal: once we are made more cognizant of our money, where it comes from and where it goes, neoliberals believe we’ll be more responsible in spending and investing it. Of course, rich people have accountants, lawyers, personal assistants, and others to do this for them, so the argument doesn’t apply to them, but that’s another story for another day…..

In real (or at least our preferred) life, we do have other, better things to do. We have books to read, children to raise, friends to meet, loved ones to care for, amusements to enjoy, drinks to drink, walks to take, webs to surf, couches to lie on, games to play, movies to see, protests to make, movements to build, marches to march, and more. Most days, we don’t have time to do any of that.”
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/12/market-participation-aka-shopping-toll-neoliberalism-obamacare-case-study.html

Privatizing government services cost 2-3 times as much study shows.

“In theory, these contractors are supposed to save taxpayer money, as efficient, bottom-line-oriented corporate behemoths. In reality, they end up costing twice as much as civil servants, according to research by Professor Paul C. Light of New York University and others has shown. Defense contractors like Boeing and Northrop Grumman cost almost three times as much.”

http://billmoyers.com/2013/12/12/ripoff-us-government-pays-contractors-twice-as-much-as-civil-servants-for-the-same-work/

So if Sheriffs don’t have to obey laws how can they expect other people to obey them?  Hypocrisy at its finest.

“In my oath it says I’ll uphold the U.S. Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Colorado,” he said, as he posed for campaign photos in his office — he is running for the State Senate in 2014. “It doesn’t say I have to uphold every law passed by the Legislature.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/16/us/sheriffs-refuse-to-enforce-laws-on-gun-control.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&hp

Access to high quality pre-school benefits kids and parents.

“We find that the state programs have increased the preschool enrollment rates of children from lower- and higher-income families alike. For lower-income families, our findings also suggest that the programs have increased the amount of time mothers and children spend together on activities such as reading, the chances that mothers work, and children’s test performance as late as eighth grade. For higher-income families, however, we find that the programs have shifted children from private to public preschools, resulting in less of an impact on overall enrollment but a reduction in childcare expenses, and have had no positive effect on children’s later test scores.”

http://www.nber.org/papers/w19735

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