Summer Has Finally Arrived!

by lizard

After cold and rain dousing us right up to the solstice, the real heat of the season has finally set in.

Today was a beautiful day in Missoula!

I biked my youngest downtown this evening for Out to Dinner at Caras Park. It was glorious.

A quick stop for cash became an opportunity for me to thank the Wells Fargo workers for diverting foot traffic from the broken ATM machine to the drive thru windows. They were busting ass to get the job done at the end of the day, unlike those at the top of the corporate scheme they slog away in service to.

I biked by a large Steve Daines sign, touting his ridiculous slogan:


Less government means less jobs. More jobs is obviously the private sector—will it make up the difference? Less government jobs means less consumer demand, which discourages hiring.

Seriously, will the private sector make up the difference? Why should they?

Whatever, the sun shined brilliantly today. Summer is here. It’s time to swim in the Blackfoot.

And it’s time for music, preferably live and outside, but for the purpose of this post, please enjoy a great song from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes’ new album, Here:

  1. Less government means less jobs. More jobs is obviously the private sector—will it make up the difference? Less government jobs means less consumer demand, which discourages hiring.

    Prove it. Please show your work.

    • lizard19

      maybe I’m just channeling Natelson ;)

      let’s use some common sense. the demonized public sector is overpaid and gets too many benefits. let’s say that’s true. then obviously they need to compromise, take pay cuts, and contribute more to their benefits. that means less money for them to spend. that means the 70% of our GDP driven by consumer spending gets softer.

      where are those lost wages going to be made up in the private sector?

      it’s like the piece of shit Farm Bill, cutting food stamps and continuing corporate subsidies.

      food stamps, as hated as they are by those on the right, are highly effective stimulative boosts to consumer spending, just like unemployment payouts.

      selective austerity is being demanded by less government types, and I’m not sure you guys (generally) really understand what that will mean if its carried out.

  2. I’m still waiting for your proof. All you’ve offered up is highly disputed economic theory. (But lemme give you a hint… it can’t be done and that’s why it’s “highly disputed.” But if you want to be a shill for some academic asshole with an agenda, have at it.)

    • lizard19

      I can’t wait for the great ideas Mitt has to fix our economy to get tested on those public sector parasites who nearly crashed the global economy.

      anyhoo, I gotta sleep, cause my alarm clock goes off at 4am.

      • Well, sleep well and I love the way you changed the subject.

        • lizard19

          the original subject is summer is here, and how glorious it is. you want proof of my claim that Daines’ slogan is ridiculous. I want proof of how more jobs will come from less government, because there is not much a politician can do to compel the private sector to hire when consumer demand is soft from the economic malaise we are still experiencing (well, most of us–a small percent has done exceedingly well in the midst of this economic crisis)

          • No, I just wanted to point out how empty your rebuttal was to Daines empty slogan. I enjoyed the day too, at least until that. Did pointing that out make your day better?

            • lizard19

              if I had intended this post to be a rebuttal, I would have spent more time rebutting. have a lovely weekend! :)

            • Thanks, you too. I have to escape both politics and economics by making a lot of cheese. Tonight it’s a creamy Havarti. Tomorrow I’ll give a go at making my first feta. All of which is more rewarding than arguing in a futile attempt to make myself feel better.

  3. KC Whistle

    Was a fine day, so for once we all agree. Enough of that!

    “Less govt” can also mean “less regulation,” which could mean fewer govt employees, but the regulatory drag that prevented the stimulus from accomplishing much of anything (where is the great recession’s Hoover Dam?) also works against job creation in the private sector.

    There are also too high taxes and too many military adventures and too many trips, conferences, junkets, and other inefficiencies in too much govt.

    The “dig a whole, fill it in, then hire an assistant to do the paperwork” nature of govt from federal to local needs changing. Govt is inefficient because it can afford to be. Time to change that.

    • lizard19

      I’m sympathetic to the regulatory argument to a degree, and am also a huge proponent of ending our counterproductive military adventurism.

      but in practice, less government has been more about attacking entitlements and public workers and cutting taxes.

  4. Tucker Max

    suppose the government stops funding the post office. What happens then? Does the concept of sending small letters through mail cease to exist? Not in the slightest, because the private sector makes up the difference. If there is still demand for letters to be sent through mail, a business will step in to fill that role. Same goes with roads, police, fire department, healthcare and everything else. If there is demand for something, there will be a business that attempts to meet those demands.

    • lizard19

      let’s see how the corporate private sector does without any Big Government subsidies. they’d throw a collective tantrum if their corporate welfare was suddenly taken away.

      • Tucker Max

        exactly and that’s why ending subsidies and regulation of the market needs to happen lol and it will allow those businesses the government has been in bed with to finally be exposed to market forces

  5. Tucker Max

    The competition between business for capturing that particular market whether it be the post office, fire department etc, creates more jobs and is better for the consumer, the average you and I, than a government monopoly could ever be

    • JC

      What a bunch of bull. The last thing this country needs to do is to privatize our police and public safety functions. Let’s see, which police department is running a special on burglaries today? Let’s see, if my roof is on fire, I’ll call the roof firefighters. If my basement is on fire, who’s the cheapest at that? If’m laying in the road unconscious from a car accident, I don’t refer to myself as an ambulance of lifeflight consumer. Let’s see, which mercenary force are we going to deploy to stop Iran’s nuclear missile program? Oh, and let’s make sure that the private company running the satellite system tracking hurricanes turns its data over to the company running emergency services or evacuation.

      Turning our common public needs over to the private market is just the next step in solidifying fascism in america. But go for it. Because nothing will help bring this country’s empire to an end than the rest of the world uniting to contain and disassemble it.

      What a fantasy, a totally private market country. And when one company figures out how to game the private judicial system, then it can just merge all of the big corporations into one mega corporation, and the united corporations of america will have completed its hostile takeover of the united states of america. Of the corporation, for the corporation, and by the corporation.

      • Agree on the bull. How about those two Pennsylvania judges caught taking kickbacks to send teenagers to prison who weren’t guilty. For profit prisons lead to putting more people in jail for PROFIT. Not for the good of our communities. There are some things that should be non-profit. Didn’t Montanans figure that out when the Montana Power scam happened? How we get our energy to run our businesses should be run by a public non-profit utility. Same thing for health care. Like most other wealthy nations, health care should be run on a non-profit basis. Switizerland has a system where citizens buy from different insurance companies but they are non-profit. They pay their CEO a good wage, but not 21 million dollars.

        In the good old days of the fifties, companies were taxed on their profits so they pumped a lot of their profits into wages and research and development instead of CEO salaries. Worked.
        Now we have no new cures for anything. Profits don’t go into R& D. They go into executive pay. And that just is a nice term for hoarding.

  6. Since when did Washington politicians make decisions based upon economics? The simplistic Hayek v. Keynes babble, like the capitalist v. socialist babble, is employed as distraction and amusement as Rome burns. In practice, politics — the art of manipulating money, people and power — trumps almost all rational knowledge.

  7. Here is a link to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities facts on public employees for those interested in statistics.

    By far the largest share of state and local government workers are the nearly 7 million teachers, aides, and support staff working in the nation’s elementary, middle, and high schools. (See Figure 1). Other prominent categories of state and local employment are protective services (including police officers, fire fighters, and correctional officers), higher education, health care (including nurses and other workers at public hospitals and clinics), and transportation (including road maintenance workers and bus drivers).

    When asked about local or state government, a majority of people approve of it because they can see the results of sewer systems, road repairs, schools, fire fighters and police. What they don’t like, and I’ve come to this conclusion too, is waste of money at the national level. Why do we need an huge education bureaucracy that implements crap ideas like the selling test materials scheme “No Child Left Behind” and the privatization scheme “Race to the Top?”

    The article also makes clear that public sector employees i.e. the people who supply services that we need still get paid less than private sector. But they have pensions. It used to be a no-brainer that you would make more money in the private sector than the public. But now because of the Wall STreet banksters and free market stupidity, wages in the private sector have stagnated for 30 years. So we should be making sure private sector workers have health care and pensions rather than taking them away from other Americans. Lift everybody up and not make everybody less well off.

    But it won’t happen by voting for either of the leaders of the national parties. We need new organizations and new coalitions. But we need to get our priorities straight.

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