Morning Reads for Tuesday, May 7th, 2013


  • A new GOP bill would prevent the government from collecting economic data (Wonkblog)
  • Not enough inflation, or what the dollar can learn from the peseta (NYT)
  • The Falling Cost Of Solar Energy Is Surprising Everyone (Business Insider)
  • Betaworks is Buying Up The Online News Essentials by the Ton (Atlantic)
  • 10 Technologies That Caused the World to Shift (Business Insider)
  • ‘Time Crystals’ Could Set Physicists’ Theories of Time Adrift (Wired)
  • The Section: Knighting of Soft Rockers (Rolling Stone)
  • Karim: Life Lessons of a shot blocker (esquire)
  • Octopus Modern Wonder, Ancient Mystery (The New York Review of Books)
  • The Hangover‘s Uncensored Oral History (Hollywood Reporter)


  • Deal signs ethics bill, no more free dinners (myAJC)
  • Deal changes metric for giving schools money, will only reward winners (myCreativeLoafing)
  • Atlanta to restore funding to some charter schools (myAJC)
  • Georgia goes against the grain with new immigration rules (myHispanicallySpeaking)
  • Saxby plays golf with the pres and hits a hole in one (myMaconTelegraph)
  • The family farm and the road that runs through it (myMaconTelegraph)
  • Accused polluter only drinks water that’s bottled (mySavannahMorningNews)
  • New migrant worker bill means Georgia Ag gets throttled (myProduceNews)




  1. Harry says:

    I really wonder how much longer this nation can continue as a single, viable entity. There are too many disparate selfish interests and historical grudges in play that work against the common good.

  2. Dave Bearse says:

    Log Cabin Republicans take note: Harvard economics Professor Niall Ferguson rebutted John Maynard Keynes’ famous remark that “[i]n the long run we are all dead” by saying Keynes economic theories were flawed because he didn’t care about future generations because he was gay and didn’t have children. The flip side is gay Republicans want tax cuts in the here and now—no need to educate children or build infrastructure for the future. Ferguson had the sense to make an unqualified apology:

    Give fiscal conservatives credit for predicting the crushing inflation that is gripping the country, just as social conservatives were prescient of the complete turmoil that has gripped the military since gays began serving openly.

    No worries should environmental deregulation conservatives break form and be wrong about global warming. Future generations can embrace personal responsibility by moving to another planet before this one is wrecked. If people are stranded here, it won’t matter to Bible literalists, because the end is glorious Armageddon. End-Times Theology, the Shadow of the Future, and Public Resistance to Addressing Global Climate Change:

  3. seenbetrdayz says:

    I’m guessing Paul Krugman doesn’t have the same experiences as a single mother watching prices go up in the grocery store check-out lines.

    • pettifogger says:

      I can’t compete with Krugman on economic knowledge or insight.

      I can, however, express disbelief at his absurdity in promoting social democracy government, refusing to to note the role of social democracy in Europe’s economic woes, and then promoting spending as a method for pulling out of a spiral caused, in part, by a system of government he supported all along.

      • Stefan says:

        Well, “social democracy” is a term fraught with secondary meaning, what do you mean by it? And second, do you want to debate austerity? Because I think that would be a fun debate.

        • pettifogger says:

          Social democracy has a relatively firm meaning when used to discuss the economic and political systems of European states. I’m not sure what secondary meaning you’re referring to, so perhaps you can clarify.

          With regard to austerity, at least in the context of what you’re referring to, I make no reference to it. As to your proposed “fun debate,” I don’t think it would be entertaining to witness non-economists regurgitating and disparaging the celebratory missives of Krugman.

          Now, if you want to debate about whether there are general benefits to having a fiscally austere government, or whether there may be inherent conflict between Krugman’s political positions and fiscal prudence, I might be game.

          • Stefan says:

            “Social democracy”, as you are using it, is as a catch all for social programs common to a Socialist state. The problem is that if there is a spectrum of political thought on an issue, one side or the other can stigmatize a policy goal as being “socialist” or fascist” rather than say effective or non-effective, workable or non-workable, or a good idea or a bad one. For instance, both Germany and the US have laws on workplace safety. “Workplace safety laws” are a marker of “social democracy” but it doesn’t follow that either of those two countries are “social democracies” simply because of the existence of those laws. However, if workplace safety laws can be labeled as “socialist” because they are part and parcel to what you’ve termed as Social Democracy, their implementation and enforcement can be hampered. Which is why OSHA has so few inspectors.

            You stated Krugman’s position on “spending as a method for pulling out of a spiral” as being absurd, so I assumed you were suggesting its antithesis, austerity, as a better path. Debating austerity versus stimulus is quite fun, in my opinion.

            • pettifogger says:

              I’m not one to label anything approaching a universal public program as “socialist,” although those who do wouldn’t be entirely off base, I suppose. Social democracy, as I intend it and as I believe it is typically used, refers to highly-regulated capitalist economies typified by high taxes and a great many social programs. I’m much less interested in labels, and more interested in fiscal longevity, world influence and domestic unrest, and how such things intersect with social democracy.

              With regard to austerity, I simply find it hypocritical for Krugman to promote an unwieldy system of government, and then essentially promote more of the same as a method to cure an ill he now takes no responsibility for (I’m not blaming him personally, obviously). Austerity vs. Stimulus is a separate matter and I don’t entirely discount the merits of stimulus. I do, however, think it is difficult to take people seriously who advocate for public spending, wait for problems to arise, and then advocate for public spending as a solution. Krugman is trying to view fiscal policy in a vacuum, and in a very academically disingenuous manner, IMO.

      • Harry says:

        Austerity is a straw man. What fiscal and monetary policy really amounts to, is supporting too big to fail banks and political special interests, and making disincentives for private thrift and investment. If one wants yield, you have no alternative but to invest in global public enterprises through Wall Street middlemen supported by Fed paper printing. The little man/woman is finished.

  4. saltycracker says:

    “On April 24 Gov. Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 160, which expands restrictions in the 2011 law and is designed to prevent illegal immigrants from obtaining state driver’s licenses, grants, public housing and retirement benefits. The bill, which goes into effect July 1, also outlaws the use of foreign passports to qualify for public benefits unless those passports include paperwork proving the bearer is in the U.S. legally.”

    This is a bad bill ?
    If we really didn’t want to exploit the illegals for business interests and further pass on their costs to the taxpayers, the Feds would fix the work visa law.

    • Stefan says:

      Well yeah, but it might be better to take the bill as individual points. There are undocumented aliens in this State. Chiefly, they provide labor at below market costs for manufacturing and agriculture. This cheap labor provides cheaper goods, yes, but it also reduces the disparity between foreign plant costs and domestic production. If you create more inefficiency in the labor market (by, say, making movement of labor more difficult by denying driving licenses and insurance) it increases the incentive to move manufacturing jobs overseas. It also can raise the cost for domestic agribusiness so that either farmers cannot survive, fruits and vegetables become more expensive, or the Federal and state governments are required to further subsidize production. Or, more likely, all three.

      So by restricting drivers licenses, you encourage jobs to go overseas and raise prices of goods.

      Oh, and for those that have to drive anyway, you make it nearly impossible to buy insurance, so it increases the chance of getting hit by an uninsured driver.

  5. saltycracker says:

    Well yeah, to your point, the majority of accidents in LA are hit and run. But the desire to keep the costs of some goods down, employer profits up, a vast underground, tax dodging economy going and a class of people to be easily exploited is not good for the fabric of society. There is a law in place that covered immigrants rhat we made very cumbersome – by design or bureaucracy – made the illegal route preferred – until like slavery, the numbers got unmanageable.
    How to fix it with the costs of social services today is very complicated.

    • saltycracker says:

      Correction – the law referred to is the one on bringing in foreign workers to pick crops – don’t recall # but I’m sure you are familiar with it. It gave these workers specific coverages, workmanship comp was one the employers hated, along with the other accountabilities.

      • Stefan says:

        I’m with you, but that’s mostly a canard. No farm workers are entitled to workers compensation benefits, so when someone says “guest workers will not be exempted from workers compensation statutes”, which people do say, they are being disingenuous.

        • saltycracker says:

          It has been some time since I read H2A & B (finally remembered the #’s). There are worker protections in the farm worker portion which I’m too lazy to look up. “Exempted” might not be the word, I think the farm worker employer has the option to offer workman’s comp – anyway, a mute point with an illegal….

          Using tariffs to balance out U.S. worker mandated costs vs. the importing country’s conditions would be preferable than exploiting illegals – or we can just let the free trade environment find its water level, which may result in no more tomato fields & orange groves….however we approach it , it is dead wrong and destructive for society to look the other way on illegals.

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