Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




ThrowTheBumsOut

  "There is no difference from an economic standpoint from outsourcing manufacturing jobs, which we have been doing for 20 years, and outsourcing white collar service jobs except college-educated workers whine louder when they lose their jobs," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York.

http://apnews.myway.com//article/20040331/D81L1VTG0.html

    Anybody wanna whine about who they're voting for in November?  Or voting against?  Anybody brave enough to
vote neither Repub or Dem? 

    Isn't it time to TTBO ?   

    I plan on voting against whoever is in office, all the way down the line to local dogcatcher and schoolboard. 

    Bush is obvious about his preference for big donors and just doesn't care, Kerry and Edwards both voted to allow 180K H1Bs/year into the US at the dawn of the recession.  Kerry, with 21 years in the Senate, is at least as responsible for our country's problems as anyone else in power. 

    Is there any real difference between 4 more years of Bush and 4 years of Kerry? 

  -- TTBO -- Is it the only way to make a difference ?

ThrowTheBumsOut
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Seems like some pretty strong sentiments from someone hiding behind a screen name.

I doubt your dog catcher would presume that he could tell you how to write your programs better...

  --Josh

JWA
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I wonder if twenty years ago David Wyss was among the group advocating sending manufacturing jobs overseas because "it allows the blue collar workforce to pursue better-paying service-oriented jobs."

FWIW, I opposed sending manufacturing jobs overseas when it was happening. I still think it's not the greatest idea.

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Hey, don't blame me, I caucused for Dean ... *sigh* ... unfortunately, he's not the candidate to be.

But I'm voting for Kerry anyways, and I'll tell you why.  In 2000, I believed that there was no real difference between Bush and Gore, and didn't cast a vote for the presidential race.  A $500 billion annual deficit later, and with 550+ Americans killed in an expensive sideshow in the "War on Terror", I am really wishing I didn't make that choice.

No, I'm not a huge fan of Kerry, but voting third-party will guarantee a Bush win and that's something that I can't let happen.  Unless Kerry decides to pick Osama bin Laden for a running mate, I don't think it's at all possible to create a worse ticket than Bush/Cheney 2004.

Alyosha`
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I have to agree.  As much as I'd like to dispense with the two party system, and I agree there isn't much difference between the two any more, I really can't stand the idea of another four years of Bush/Cheney.  Voting third party will not help to get rid of them.  I shudder to think what sorts of things Bush might try if he was in a second term and didn't have to care about running for re-election.

I don't normally count myself as a Democrat, but I think they have the best shot at getting rid of Bush.  I'll deal with voting out the Democrat next time around if he annoys me.

Aaron F Stanton
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Oh, as long as someone has resurrected the specter of the offshoring threads, here's an idea that I hate but I think will eventually happen and work:

To stop offshoring of jobs, establish unions in the countries the jobs are going to.  Yeah, I hate unions, but they would improve working conditions and raise pay rates, same as they did in their first days here.  I think they have outlived their usefulness in the US, but external conditions are ripe for them.  As wages rise in third world countries, there won't be any incentive to offshore jobs anymore, and the jobs will come back here.

Of course, the end result here would be massive inflation, because that's what unions cause in the long run, but the jobs would be back.

Aaron F Stanton
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

You don't need to send unions overseas: If there's a talented programmer in India who sees American programmers making $75,000 a year, he'll start to push up his expectations to capitalize on it while he can (as he should -- it isn't going to last forever) -- Simple capitalist principals at work. Already the overall cost benefit of offshoring to India has dropped from 70% or above, to 5-10% (yes, a miserly 5-10% : It's no longer the "creative" thing that the CTO can propose in a fit of amazing brilliance to try to get some accolades), so of course the talk is now on about moving on to China or Eastern Europe -- of course both of those options are already further along on the capitalism train, so the benefits that were seen in India will evaporate in those countries just as quickly.

.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

ThrowTheBumsOut wrote, "Is there any real difference between 4 more years of Bush and 4 years of Kerry?"

I believe there would be a difference. That said, that there hasn't been much difference between the Democratic party and the Republican party for quite some time and that is why some people don't believe that "throwing the bums out" will make a difference and simply don't bother to vote at all.


ThrowTheBumsOut wrote, "Anybody wanna whine about who they're voting for in November?"

I'm voting for Kerry. The trickle down theory of economic stimulus that President Bush seems to favor might have worked as hoped 50 years ago, but it didn't work during Ronald Regan's reign and it isn't working now.

One Programmer's Opinion
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

The American electoral system structurally guarantees  the absence of viable third party politics at the federal level.    TTBO is a spiteful waste of a vote.

Justin Johnson
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"Already the overall cost benefit of offshoring to India has dropped from 70% or above, to 5-10%"

88% of statistics posted on the internet are made up!

Ron
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

When the blue collar jobs were going away there
was at least the promiss of the white collar.
Eduction was a way out.
Now there's nothing to look forward to.
Education is just a way to get more debt.
There's no reason for wages to go up
for several more generations.

son of parnas
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

"The trickle down theory of economic stimulus that President Bush seems to favor might have worked as hoped 50 years ago, but it didn't work during Ronald Regan's reign and it isn't working now."

Yeah, the 90's really sucked economically, didn't they?

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"88% of statistics posted on the internet are made up!"

Well, this one may have been made up, too, but it wasn't on the internet.

http://news.com.com/2100-1022_3-5180589.html?tag=nefd_pop

<quote>
"Expectations about the benefits of outsourcing are becoming more realistic," according to a report by DiamondCluster International, a Chicago-based consulting firm, which recently released a survey of more than 180 companies involved in offshore outsourcing. "Most buyers in the previous study expected gains in efficiency in the range of 50 percent. Today, those expectations have declined to 10 to 20 percent."
</quote>

Actually, the title of the article is "Will India price itself out of offshore market?". Translating that into proper english, it means "Those injuns better not get any ideas about getting better paid - there are still plenty of miserable nations full of highly-educated poor bastards, who'll take our work for a couple of dimes".

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Philo wrote, "Yeah, the 90's really sucked economically, didn't they?"

Correct me if I am wrong, but weren't Bush Sr. and Clinton presidents during the 1990s?

Trickle down economics assumes the people with the cash will create jobs in this country. Why should a multi-national corporation do such a thing when it is more profitable for it to invest elsewhere?


The Go Go 90s
The early 1990s did suck for many IT workers while just about everybody was making money during the middle and second half of the 1990s. Wallstreet and de-regulation fueled much of the so-called growth of the 1990s and as many of us now know much of that economic growth was truly short-term (Y2K problem) and some of it was based on lies (dot-coms, Worldcom, Enron, etc.).  The American economy was heading for trouble several months before Bush Jr. became president.

One Programmer's Opinion
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

There is an alternative. In the US you are allowed to bear arms for a reason.


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

It was pretty pathetic that John Snow came out with his press statements maybe 2 seconds after the ITAA released this report -
http://www.itaa.org/news/pr/PressRelease.cfm?ReleaseID=1080661097

It was done by Global Insight and commissioned by the ITAA.  Look for the soft money.

Global Insight has credible economists, but I still distrust the ITAA and economists in general.  ITAA still touts that "600,000 [IT jobs] will go unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers". Huh?

Stuart Varney was subbing for Neil Cavuto on "Your World" today, and had Harris Miller (president of the ITAA) and some AFL-CIO representation on today to discuss the report.  I think it was the first time in my life I've ever heard a union rep make statements that I agreed with.  The ITAA report is primarily a forecasting report, so it's really just speculation.

Stuart called Miller's bluff right off the bat, asking "You really just got the report you paid for, right?".  Classic!

Even though I distrust President Bush's motivations, and I distrust the ITAA's even more, this is one subject that I have a lot of mixed feelings about.

On one hand I don't like the offshoring trend (and agree with Kerry's proposal to eliminate the tax break for corporations that do offshoring), but on the other hand, I still have great faith in Laissez Faire and the American-capitalist economic engine.

That engine may cause short term pain, but in the long run it's maintained a high rate of expansion and economic gain for everyone in this country. It's simply the only system that works.

Lastly, regarding Bush / Kerry - I'd still take Bush any day.  The last 3 years haven't a period by which I'd judge a sitting president by the performance of the economy.  Since it sometimes feels like I'm the only Republican programmer in the world, I've included by POP3 email account below for any necessary flaming. :-)

Nick
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I am a developer in Romania. I live in the capital of Romania, Bucharest.

Local companies have been working for US companies for more than 8 years now.

In the last 3 years, the number of US companies who wanted their work done by Romanian companies grew a lot.

As a result, the average software developer wages is now 2.5 times higher than it was 3 or 4 years ago, and it keeps growing.

About 4 years ago, the average wage of a good developer was of 400 $ (US) per month. Now it is of over 1000 $ (US) per month.

Ion
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"""There is an alternative. In the US you are allowed to bear arms for a reason. """

And you're probably going to be tracked down & thrown in Guantanamo for saying that.

That's why I'll be voting for ABB.


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

OPO - the economy is not a ferrari, it's an oil tanker; you can't make it turn on a dime (some things can cause massive changes rapidly, but those are generally external, and not something you want to try to cause)

No President is responsible for the economy that happens while they're in office. Many of the trickle-down economists allowed that it was going to take 8-10 years for the concept to show any effects.

IMHO the current economy is the result of
- 9/11
- the dotbomb
- a massive restructuring of the economy due to the internet
- Clinton's complete lack of an economic policy
- talk about "The Recession" - I think there was a Schroedinger quality about this; the press kept talking about it and it became true. (Companies believed in it and stopped hiring & purchasing, then used it as an excuse to lower offered pay)

Now if you want to blame Bush for something, I think the Medicare drug bill is going to cause massive problems over the next decade or so. I also think "No Child Left Behind" is already causing social problems, it cause wide-ranging fiscal problems at the local level.

Funny though - those are both liberal programs... [grin]

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"Clinton's complete lack of an economic policy"

Come on Philo, I thought you were more intelligent than that.  You may disagree with his policies, but to say he didn't have any is about the level of a 3rd grader's argument. Clinton was pro free trade, balanced budgets, and welfare reform.

Others:  If you want someone to blame/congradulate for the economy, seek out people at the Federal Reserve.


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

> Clinton's complete lack of an economic policy

Perhaps all presidents have and have had the same economic policy. Here's an exerpt from a speech by Clinton:

"It's an honor for me today to be joined by my predecessor, President Bush, who took the major steps in negotiating this North American Free Trade Agreement; President Jimmy Carter, whose vision of hemispherical development gives great energy to our efforts and has been a consistent theme of his for many, many years now; and President Ford who has argued as fiercely for expanded trade and for this agreement as any American citizen and whose counsel I continue to value. "

Christopher Wells
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

ABB == Another Bloody Bush?


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

ABB = Anybody But Bush


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I'll trhow my $.02 in on this too.  I will support Bush this time for president.  I agree with many that there isn't a big difference between the two.  I haven't seen anyone make the point why Kerry would make a good president besides that he is not Bush.  I am a Mass. resident so Kerry is my Senator and he has never really demonstrated any great leadership that says he needs a promotion.

For me it all comes down to one issue: the war on terror and who I think will do a better job.  What good is an economy if you're dead.

Bill Rushmore
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

> What good is an economy if you're dead.

What good is it being alive if you're in poverty?


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

sKerry will not win, the Hildabeast won't allow it.

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Maybe there really isn't all that much a President about the economy, but President Bush seems unwilling and/or unable to try something besides giving more money to wealthy Americans.

FDR, in contrast, was willing to try different things to get the economy going.

As for the 'War on Terror', pissing off our allies as well as most of the Muslim world doesn't score points with me.

The Contrarian
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"... much a President can do..."

The Contrarian
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

..."President Bush seems unwilling and/or unable to try something besides giving more money to wealthy Americans."


How many people here work for a poor person?

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Nice try, but where are the jobs?

The Contrarian
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>Yeah, the 90's really sucked economically, didn't they?

This ain't the 90s.

son of parnas
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Before Kerry captured the nomination, I thought, "Anyone but Bush".  But now, looking more closely at Kerry, I think, "Anyone but Bush except for friggin' Kerry!"  Boy did the Dems fumble! 

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Get em while they're hot...

http://www.johnkerryflipflops.com/

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

For me its Nader or Bush at this point. Kerry is simply not a condender or serious candidate. "He's not Bush", yeah whatever. None of his plan will stop outsourcing or improve the jobs situation - the big tax increases he is shooting for will decimate what is left of the economy. Bust wants to outsource the same - they are all following the same page there. Nader is at least on a different page, but i am not convinced that Nader would know how to handle the war on terror - Bush is ok but has been too soft in my opinion - we should have come down hard on house of saud since they are clearly behind all the terror attacks rather than bothering with iraq, which was only peripherally involved.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"Bush is ok but has been too soft in my opinion - we should have come down hard on house of saud since they are clearly behind all the terror attacks rather than bothering with iraq"

The Bush family's ties to the Saudi monarchy precludes any such action against Saudi Arabia. Waiting for President Bush to take such action would be like waiting for Godot.

The Contrarian
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The medicare drug bill is a corporate give-away in the guise of a liberal program.

The current recession is, in part, a correction of the latter 90's "irrational exuberance".  For some odd reason, many people took the econony of the 90's as the norm (and sustainable for ever).

njkayaker
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Bush is bought and paid for.  Haliburton, Enron, whatnot.

So is Kerry, I just happen to prefer (dislike less) the companies that bought Kerry.

cynic
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

----" we should have come down hard on house of saud since they are clearly behind all the terror attacks"------

The house of Saud is no more behind the terror attacks than you are, Dennis.

Or do you think Clinton was behind the Oklahoma bombing?

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"The house of Saud is no more behind the terror attacks than you are, Dennis."

Directly? No. Strongly contributing to? I believe so. Are they the only people you can say that of? No. But that doesn't make it any less true.

Exception guy
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"The house of Saud is no more behind the terror attacks than you are, Dennis.
Or do you think Clinton was behind the Oklahoma bombing?"

You're an idiot.  Why the hell do you even post when you have nothing of value to contribute?  This is your argument?!?  Clinton didn't donate millions & millions to fund madrassas and terrorist groups, you imbecile.  You are a complete moron.  Stop posting.

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"Clinton didn't donate millions & millions to fund madrassas and terrorist groups"

While Clinton didn't do it, you'd do well to remember that both Osama and Saddam were funded by the USA and other western nations.

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "While Clinton didn't do it, you'd do well to remember that both Osama and Saddam were funded by the USA and other western nations."

Sometimes you're forced to help people who share a common enemy - even if the people you're helping aren't much better than the enemy itself.  That's life.  But we stopped funding Osama and Saddam when it became apparent they were our enemies.  The house of Saud fund terrorists with full knowledge that they'll come after the West.

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"The house of Saud fund terrorists with full knowledge that they'll come after the West. "

Yep, a bit of misdirection has been going on in some Arab nations:

"Your government isn't to blame for your lot in life. It's the Americans' fault. It's the Israelis' fault. etc. etc."

The Contrarian
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Jobs?  There are jobs...maybe not the exact job you want....but there are jobs out there...

the avg unemployment rate from 2001-2003 is 5.5%
the ave unemployment rate from 1991-2000 is 5.6%

feb 2004 rate is 5.6%, in 1995 the rate was 5.6%. 

I don't remember anyone whining about how "high unemployment was" in 1995...

Oh wait, I know why, a democrat, Billary, was in office and due to subtle media bias you wouldn't hear/see any of that anyway....

Everone focuses on current numbers with out putting them in context....like the supposed "record high gas prices"

The avg price/gal is what $1.80/gal?  adjust early 80's gas prices for inflation, they were at about $2.90

$1.80 doesn't seem so high does it?

It's a sad thing, sKerry and the rest of the democrats have the ignorant and mis-educated (read: product of gov't schools)  electorate in a deer-in-the-headlights death grip, hopefully the rest of us will see through his rhetoric.

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The unemployment rate doesn't really tell the full story, as there are plenty of people who can't find a job but aren't counted in the unemployment numbers.

"I still have great faith in Laissez Faire and the American-capitalist economic engine.

That engine may cause short term pain, but in the long run it's maintained a high rate of expansion and economic gain for everyone in this country. It's simply the only system that works."

The problem with this attitude in regards to international trade, is that it is not actually a free market.  People in developing countries are not free to relocate to the US where they would have better working conditions and higher pay.

MikeMcNertney
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Much like there are a large number of jobs created by small companies and starups that aren't included in reports that are given by the media.

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "The unemployment rate doesn't really tell the full story, as there are plenty of people who can't find a job but aren't counted in the unemployment numbers."

And there are plenty of people who DO have jobs but aren't counted among the those employed.  People who begin work at start-ups, or found their own start-ups aren't counted because they're not working at established corporations.  New businesses provide most of the new jobs, but aren't in the tally.

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Dear anon and others,
                                  There is not a shred of evidence that the House of Saud is behind the funding of Al-Qaeeda. As I said, to blame it for Osama is like blaming Clinton for Timothy McVeigh.

                                  Madrassas are Islamic schools (the word in fact simply means school just as Taliban simply means students); of course many Saudis finance them. I believe many Republicans and even Democrats fund Sunday schools in the USA.

                                    Incidentally if you look at the textbooks for Afghani schools used under the Taliban, and indeed still used now, you will find an immense number of pages exhorting the schoolchildren to fight the infidel. You will also find that the said textbooks were written and printed in the USA by an American university with American government or semi-government funding. The reason being that when they were written "the infidel" was the Russian invader.

                                     

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"There is not a shred of evidence that the House of Saud is behind the funding of Al-Qaeeda. "

Hmm...didn't the Saudi government pay off bin Laden and company to not engage in acts of terrorism within Saudi Arabia back in the day?

The Contrarian
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "I believe many Republicans and even Democrats fund Sunday schools in the USA."

Are you honestly comparing madrassas to American Sunday schools?  I live in the US - in a country that's more than 90% Judeo-Christian - and I'm an agnostic.  A very vocal agnostic.  I'm a free-thinker.  I've slept with a man; I've slept with two women.  I believe in legalizing drugs, gambling & prostitution.  And I constantly and loudly speak out against organized religion on a daily basis.

And you know what?  I've never been stoned to death.  The people educated in the Sunday schools you refer to, funded by our citizens, are pretty much okay to let me have my say.

My family's never been put on trial because I'm a heretic.  My wife doesn't have to wear a veil.  None of my friends have ever strapped on a bomb and blown up women and children - and if a friend ever did that, he wouldn't be considered a damn hero in the US.

And you know what else?  Kids go to Sunday school on SUNDAY, and the rest of the week they learn real subjects.  People in madrassas learn one thing - militant Islam - day after day after day. 

Seriously, you're not really so retarded as to compare madrassas to US Sundays schools are you?  I guess you are.
   

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

----" Hmm...didn't the Saudi government pay off bin Laden and company to not engage in acts of terrorism within Saudi Arabia back in the day? "----

No! Bin Laden received a large amount of money in the late eighties because he was fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. This was part of a joint agireement between the Saudi and US governments.

When the Iraquis invaded Kuwait Bin Laden went to the Saudi government and suggested that instead of letting the Americans in they should allow Bin Laden to organize the resistance to Iraq with his fighters. The Saudi government more or less ignored the suggestion, rightfully viewing it as quixotic, and Bin Laden took offence at the slight.

It was approximately at that time that he started to campaign for the withdrawal of all American troops from Saudi and the overthrow of the House of Saud as revisionists. The islamist opposition to the House of Saud has been going since at least 1993, when they arrested many who attended a demonstration in Buraidah. Some of them fled to the UK where they denounced such assaults on human rights as having their cars scratched by the police. One of the leading Saudi dissidents is based in the UK and backs a so called movement for democratic change; like the Algerian islamists its motto is one man, one vote one time. Even that is limited as when asked about the position of the Shias in their Islamic democratic state they stated that they would be treated fairly and offered the chance to recant or be executed as apostates :) The British government tried to throw the ringleader out in the late 90s but the Appeal Court quashed the deportation. To add a touch of comedy soon after 9./11 MI6 took to publishing job ads on the site in the hope of attracting Al-Qaeeda sympathizers.

What you must remember is that Osama and Al-Qaeeda represent the end of a spectrum, just as you will find fundamentalist loonies at the end of the Right Wing Christian movement in the States. Also there have been at least two justified wars of self defense in the 90's, Chechnya and Bosnia, and many of the former Mujahadeen were fighting in both. So it is more than likely that some money got transferred where it was not supposed to.

The alliance between the Saudis and US goes back to the early 1940's. Much of the Saudi Royal Family was educated in the US, as was a large proportion of the intellectual elite in the country. Aramco has a massive second headquarters in Houston, and friendship between Bush and the Bin Ladens (who are the biggest building firm in the country) is quite normal. The fact that Patty Hearst joined the Black Panthers wouldn't make any friendship with companies in the Hearst empire an act of  conniving with terrorism. Osama was very much on the outskirts of the Bin Laden family after his mother divorced when he was ten or so.

Also remember that Bechtel and Halliburton, have had a long relationship with the Saudis. The whole area I am typing this letter from now was bulti with Bechtel's oversight, and there are still many Bechtel employees embedded in the Royal Commission (I lock horns with them whenever they suggest an ATM network instead of Gigabit etherner!).

The anti-Saudi campaign in the States has a lot of opportunism behind it; either to embarrass Bush for political reasons or to make money by sensationalizing your book or both in the case of Micahel Moore, whose country clearly is a long way away from the truth! You will also see it intensify when the Saudis put their weight behind a peace plan that is not to Likud's liking.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Dear anon,
                "madrassa" is the Arabic word for school.  In many non-Muslim countries there is no religious teaching in day schools so the students go to madrasses and learn about Islam just as Christians go to Sunday School and learn about Christianity. There are tens of thousands of madrassas in the USA and the people who go to them no more learn about extremist Islam than people in Sunday Schools in the USA learn about militant Christianity.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "In many non-Muslim countries there is no religious teaching in day schools..."

We're not talking about non-Muslim countries!  Why do you even bring this up?  But anyway - my bad!  I forgot.  Islam is a religion of peace!  Why I'm sure that if I went to an Islamic nation, I'd be welcomed and warmly embraced for how my diverse views would add a new intellectual perspective to their philosophies.  Then they'd gouge out my eyes and kill my family.

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

You were the one who bought up the topic of the Saudis funding madrassas in non-islamic countires.

As I said, madrassa is the Islamic word for school. In Muslim countries the schools will teach a variety of subjects, though you would be correct to say that Islam and Islamic history form a not-insignificant part of the syllabus. However, as you were referring to Saud funding schools that only taught religion, I presumed you were referring to madrassas in non-Islamic countries.

I am not going to enter into the topic of whether a secular state is superior to a theocracy because we are both in agreement. Tnis discussion started out because people wished to accuse the Saudi Royal Family of supporting terrorism without a shred of evidence.

And I fail to see how showing that you as a US citizen can be as bigoted as the most benighted Saudi is going to prove your case.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"The problem with this attitude in regards to international trade, is that it is not actually a free market.  People in developing countries are not free to relocate to the US where they would have better working conditions and higher pay. "

Originally, this discussion was about the US elections and domestic US economics, so I don't see what your point has to do with those issues.  But I will address your point anyway.

First, the US has the most open (or least one of the most open) immigration policies in the world.  It is far easier for someone to come to the US and get employment than it is for an American to go anywhere abroad and get a working Visa.  (The exception to this is when an American goes as an employee of an American enterprise, which is a separate issue.  Even still, there are many foreign nationals working in the US for their companies.)

Second, free trade is lopsided against the US.  The US markets are far more open to foreign competitors than foreign markets are to our companies. I still remember when US tire manaufacturers couldn't sell snow tires in Japan because "Japanese snow was different".  India, and to a lesser extent China, have opened up their markets more in the past decade.  But, there's still no enforcement of IP laws.

Third, maybe the people in developing countries should put as much effort into devloping their economies as they do into blaming the US for everything.  Then the standard of living questions would be moot.  Personally, I don't feel that we have an obligation to open up our job markets to the world.  I don't know where people get this sense of entitlement.

Nick
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "And I fail to see how showing that you as a US citizen can be as bigoted as the most benighted Saudi is going to prove your case."

What a simpleton.  I'm sorry, you dullard, that in your tiny mind, the disclosure of facts is equivalent to bigotry.  It's a fact that, by orders of magnitude, you're more likely to be killed, tortured or mutilated in an Islamic country than in a civilized nation for expressing views contrary to the dictates of the prevailing religious doctrine.  Do you understand "fact"?  It's a fact; it's not bigotry.  Say it with me: "f-a-c-t".  Am I also a bigot because I point out that 'g' is 9.8 m/sec/sec?

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

-----"I still remember when US tire manaufacturers couldn't sell snow tires in Japan because "Japanese snow was different". "-----

I also remember when American car manufacturers couldn't sell any cars in Japan because "the side of the road the Japanese drove on was different". Strange how they blamed the Japaniese instead of shifting the steering wheel to the other side.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

stephen,

I thought it was because american cars sucked.

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Dear anon,
                  People don't get killed, tortured and mutilated in any civilized country by definition.

                  There are plenty of uncivilized countries that are close allies of the US where this happens.

                    No religion, not even Buddhism, is free of extremists who use it as a cover to destroy their neighbour.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The idea that the Saudi royal family supported terrorism probably comes from the report in the London Times (1 to 1-1/2 years ago?) that the Saudis paid al-Queda $300 million to avoid being the target of terrorist activities.  So, by paying the "protection" money they were implicitly funding terrorist activities.

Nick
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>>I also remember when American car manufacturers couldn't sell any cars in Japan because "the side of the road the Japanese drove on was different".

Yeah, I remember that too.  But that was GM/Ford/Chrysler stupidity, not closed trade.

Nick
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

---"I thought it was because american cars sucked. "----

Yea, but the American car companies didn't want to give anybody but Americans the chance of finding that out :)

And even if they didn't few people would buy them. I live in one of the few places that does buy American cars and the reason is that like the States the country is vast and empty with long wide straight roads, loads of parking spaces, and gasoline is dirt cheap.

But Japan or Europe have narrow roads with mountains and curves, gasoline is taxed highly, and most driving is done in an urban environment where parking is at a premium.

When the Americans do design a car that fits the needs of the market, as happened with the Jeep Cherokee, then it sells well (as would the Mustang if people could afford the gasoline).

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

I don't believe anything in the Murdoch press, even from "The Times". I suspect the story was without foundation. There are a fair number of libel lawyers in London who are getting fat off taking on libel cases for Saudi clients. Indeed Random House is now complaining that British libel law is unfari because it is no longer profitable to publish lies and fabrications "in the public interest".

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

O.T.
The Mustang will do well in a year (or two?) when they come out with the (and I can't stand this phrase but what the hell)  "throwback" style of the '65 'stang.  Until then its just a tired revsion of the 80's model

apw
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "People don't get killed, tortured and mutilated in any civilized country by definition."

What's your damn point?  You waste so much of this forum with your stupid, irrelevant posts.  What's the point?  It's not bigotry to disclose facts.  How does this ridiculous response counter that? 


>> "There are plenty of uncivilized countries that are close allies of the US where this happens."

Irrelevant, irrelevant, irrelevant.  Do you ever say anything that is germane to the discussion at hand?  What does this have to do with your numb-skull assertion that I'm a bigot?


>> "No religion, not even Buddhism, is free of extremists who use it as a cover to destroy their neighbour."

Just say something on-topic, man.  Anything! 

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Dear anon,
                You took this thread off topic posts ago.  I came in to counter the suggestion that the Saudi government financed Al-Qaeeda. Only Nick has posted anything relevant regarding this.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Mustang will guzzle too much gas to be sold much outside the States or the Gulf though.

I'm sufficiently senile to be tempted though :)

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

It was your moronic assertion that by pointing out a fact about a particular culture, one is a bigot.  Back up your retarded claim, ignoramus.  Most of your argument sequences in JoS end up with you putting forth your "Racist!" assertion.  Why don't you back it up or shut up?  God!  What a waste of space your posts are.

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "Dear anon, You took this thread off topic posts ago."

By the way, if you'd taken two seconds to review the thread, you'd have seen that I've done nothing but post messages that counter inane assertions - mostly your inane assertions.  As such, I haven't taken the thread anywhere.  Why can't you get a single damn fact straight before you spout your irrelevancies?

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

---"God!  What a waste of space your posts are. "----

Yea, if  I didn't post there'd be all the more space for your profundities.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Are Saudi funding terrorist groups?

I don't know.

But here are two pointers...

  http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/conspiracytheories/saudi.html 
  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1400050219/qid=1080776022/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-7334709-6559868?v=glance&s=books   

Rick Tang
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"Sometimes you're forced to help people who share a common enemy - even if the people you're helping
aren't much better than the enemy itself.  That's life.
But we stopped funding Osama and Saddam when it
became apparent they were our enemies."

anon I call your bullshit. It is never necessary to give
guns to psychos. In Afghanistan the US could have
given backing to Ahmad Shah Masood and Abdul Haq
to fight off the Russians; instead you guys *chose* to
give weapons to Ben Laden, and frankly your result
was the only logical outcome. If I don't want to get
shot, I don't give guns to my neighbourhood psychopath.

And Afghanistan, and my country of birth, and the rest
of the Middle East (and everywhere else in the world
that the CIA or MI6 like to operate in) are messed up
because those bastards gave guns to psychos, not
because the countries are Islamic. FACT: Islam is
basically a cut-and-paste of Judaism with some of the
Old-Testament racism removed. You would never get
away with making the comments you made if you
substituted the word "Judaism" for "Islam", would you
now? I thought not.


I'll put up with London being on terror alert.

I'll put up with getting the "random" check 3 times and
the "Special Room" whenever I fly into New York, because
of my name and looks. (And I'm not even moslem! In fact,
the fanatics probably want to kill me for being a renegade!).

I don't have to put up with your ignorance of politics.

Ali
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "Yea, if  I didn't post there'd be all the more space for your profundities."

Wow.  You sure did come up with a great defense for your asinine assertions.  Unless you can back up what you say, why the flock don't you just stay off this forum and save us all a lot of time?

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Nick,

"I still have great faith in Laissez Faire and the
American-capitalist economic engine."

So you're saying that you have faith in the economic
system that immediately preceded the Great Depression?

Laissez Faire is stupid and doesn't work. Laissez Faire
has been dead for years, replaced instead by corporate
welfare (if not real welfare) systems, NeoLiberal Economics
rhetoric notwithstanding.

Wouldn't it be better to vote for candidates that prevent
the outsourcing of high technology - critical to the defense
industries - to *Communist China* (of all places) ?

How is that for a TTBO criterion?

Ali
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

> For me it all comes down to one issue: the war on terror and who I think will do a better job. What good is an economy if you're dead.

On Monday a Canadian comedian claimed that the biggest difference between Harper and Martin is that Harper (the conservatives) wants us to support America's foreign policies: "so if we vote for Harper in the next election, then we'll be voting to go to war".


Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> "FACT: Islam is basically a cut-and-paste of Judaism with some of the Old-Testament racism removed [...]  You would never get away with making the comments you made if you substituted the word "Judaism" for "Islam", would you now? I thought not."

Look, I work with a bunch of guys who are from the Middle East - good guys who've gone to bat for me in different situations at the office, so I'm just not interested in blanket statements about everyone in a particular subset of people.  I tried to make it clear to Stevie-Boy that, just because you make general statements about the character of a society, it DOES NOT MEAN that you make invalid inferences from the general to specific individuals.  But you have to understand that in America, I probably wouldn't get away with making those comments with "Judaism" substituted for "Islam" because Jews didn't pilot planes into buildings with the intention of killing & hurting as many innocent people as possible.

anon
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

>> But you have to understand that in America, I probably
>> wouldn't get away with making those comments with
>> "Judaism" substituted for "Islam" because Jews didn't
>> pilot planes into buildings with the intention of killing
>> & hurting as many innocent people as possible.

I doubt you would get away with similar statements
about "Shinto" or "Japs".

The fact is, backward nasty peoples are a problem
because they are just that, backward. Religion has little
to do with it. Islamic societies are a good few hundred
years behind Christian ones. Compare like-for-like, and
you see that Islam comes waaaaaaay ahead of
Christianity.

This is why I *do* find Christian fundamentalist
organizations similarly worrying to the Islamic equivalents.
Example: Check out the L.A. Church of Christ, which
are basically a cult.

But in any case, Stephen Jones was not advocating
that we all become Islamic fundamentalists. He just
seems to think the terrorism funding thing is a lot more
complicated than "Al Saud did it". I'm not so sure of
their innocence, because they have a long history of
connections with Wahhabi extremism (Ben Laden's
brand of lunacy), so I'm probably on *your* side of the
debate. But you over-reacted and completely blew your
top at him, and I still can't figure out what for.

Ali
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Back to TTBO:

Nick,
"
First, the US has ... at least one of the most open...
immigration policies in the world.
...
Second, free trade is lopsided against the US.
...
Third, maybe the people in developing countries should
put as much effort into devloping their economies as
they do into blaming the US for everything.
"

It was the US that messed up Asia in 97 by insisting
that their capital controls be removed, and after the
crash insisting (through the IMF) that New York investors
be bailed out, while fuel and food subsidies were cut
throughout the region. Just one example of the West
controlling the terms of trade and destroying developing
countries, knocking out your points 2 & 3.

Obviously, the resulting messed up economies help
offshoring. Places like Indonesia are cheaper to have
Nike factories in, and places like Russia are cheaper
to have programming campuses in.

Immigration can counteract this through supply-and
-demand, because the workers leave the 3rd world
(raising wages there) and come to the US (which
benefits from their talents) while they themselves get
much higher living standards. Everybody wins.

But under the current stupid-ass employment system,
if I want to go there I have to come in as an H-1 where
my visa is tied to my employment contract, not to me.
So the bosses prefer to hire me because they think
they can jerk me around and I have to put up with it,
or else I get deported. This lowers demand for you
services, and your salary. I lose, you lose, the
Fortune 500 win.

To your point 1:
Why this is an internal US political issue is because
you guys would benefit from a better immigration
policy.

Ali
Wednesday, March 31, 2004

"Places like Indonesia are cheaper to have
Nike factories in, and places like Russia are cheaper to have programming campuses in."

And it'll continue to be so for the foreseeable future. The ones with the power to change it (the politicians) are getting paid... er, sorry, "funded" by those that have the most to gain from this situation (the corporations). Guess who ends up screwed?

Paulo Caetano
Thursday, April 01, 2004

I'm sorry Ali, I just can't even respond. I said that people in developing nations need to stop wasting the time blaming the US for everything, and then you refuted it by *blaming the US*!!  I couldn't even read anymore.  That's just too fucking funny.

I will say that 3 years ago I sat through 4 hours of presentations on the Asian Tigers Crisis, all given by people from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore,and the Phillipines. Each had worked in the foreign exchange markets during the crisis and had done subsequent research on it.  The crisis and aftermath were much more complicated than your one paragraph summary.

Yes, Thailand's capital controls were lifted in the early 1990's but it wasn't because the US was twisting their arms.  Heavy investment in Thailand began in the late 1980's when the capital controls were still in place.  But, of course, the amount of foreign investment that could flow into the country was limited by these capital controls, so development was hampered.

Was Thailand screaming "No, no.  Take your millions and go away!".  Hell no.  They lifted the capital controls so their own economy could benefit.  What happenmed after that is to detailed to go into here, but to lay the blame at the US' feet is absurd.

Regarding the IMF, I'm not surprised that Wall Street exerted their influence on the bailout.  But I won't even attempt to defend the IMF because I'm not that knowledgable about it.

Lastly, I used Laissez Faire in the vernacular sense - reduced regulations and government interference - not in the economic theorist / purist sense.

Nick
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Those 550+ Americans died for 'freedom', so did thousands of Iraqis and they didn't volunteer and most of the weren't terrorists either. The longer you continue to value one American life above any number of lives in other places, no one in the rest of the world will care who is elected in November.

Woodentongue
Thursday, April 01, 2004

"... then you refuted it by *blaming the US*!!  I couldn't even read anymore.  That's just too fucking funny."

Look, maybe I should put *fact* above compliance with
your requests? If the US *is* to blame, why should I not
blame it? And how can developing countries do anything
about improving themselves if the US *is* doing them in?

And besides, I was blaming the West generally (including
the UK), not just the US, as well as basically blaming just a
subset of the government and business complexes.

You don't seem to have such a fine-grained concept; you
seem to think people, businesses and their governments
form a monolithic block, but that's not the case.

If you read "Globalization and its Discontents", by Stiglitz,
who was the top economist at the IMF, you'll come across
his recounting of what happened in Indonesia and South
Korea.
While the businessmen might well have been happy to
take huge US dollar loans, the South Korean government
didn't want to let them because they *knew* what could
go wrong, but the US arm twisted them until they had to
remove their capital controls.

Had there been any justice, Wall Street should have
taken the losses unaided, but the IMF "rescue" bailed
them out instead of bailing out Asia.

Well, if I invest in some stocks and the companies go bust,
the IMF doesn't come and bail me out - I'm told it's my
responsibility for making a dud investment. How come
Wall Street gets treated differently? This seems to me like
massive market manipulation (and *in favour* of US firms).

If you think the current situation is fine, good for you.
But I'm thinking of getting out of computing, because
if I become a plumber, there's no way I can be offshored.

Ali
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Typo: Stiglitz was at the World Bank
(Laurel to the IMF's Hardy).

Ali
Thursday, April 01, 2004

I tnink there are three things at play here, Rick.

Firstly there is the laissez-faire voodoo economics policy espoused by the Chicago Boys of the IMF and World Bank.

Secondly there is the American governments support for this.

And thirdly there is the incompetence and corruption of many Asian countries.

I believe there is no doubt that International monetary agencises often give developing countries economic advice based on what the young twenty somethings they send out to do the grunt work believed they learnt at business school. This advice is partial and little or no effort is made to evaluate what effect this wil have in the field.

American and European governments often back up that advice because it means increased opportunities for their multi-nationals. The fact that many high-level civil servants and even ministers have, had or will have,  second jobs with the multi-nationals gives them even more clout.

Thirdly, and in the case of the setback of the Tiger economies is the rampant corruption and inefficienty of thier governments. There is no doubt whatsoever that that was the major cause of the collapse; the threat of reimposing exchange controls made sure that the filght of captial really took off. It has been said that the fact that Malayasia is now doing qiuite well is the result of its not having completely dismantled exchange controls; I reckon it has much more to do with less corruption and bad debts.

What one sees throughout much the Third World is a mindless nationalism and knee-jerk anti-westernism fighting an equally mindless acceptance of reheated scraps of economic theory from the eighties disguising itself as progress and openness. This is clearly seen in the discussions for the Sri Lankan elections which happen tomorrow. Any attempt to get closer to reality gets blown out of the intellectual market place.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Dear Rick,
                I've read through the first link you give. There really is nothing there apart from the mysterious meeting in a Paris Hotel between Turki bin Faisal and a supposed operative of Al-Qaeeda in which money was allegedly handed over so Al-Qaeeda wouldn't bomb Saudi. The name of the hotel is not given, the name of the Al-Qaeeda contact is not given, and neither the amount of money nor its provenance is mentioned.

              Robert Baer, one of whose books you refer to in the second post was in Paris near that time, so maybe he is the source. I haven't read his book but have read extracts from another of his books in which he claimed that Osama was financed by the iranians. To anybody who lives in the area the suggestion that a Wahabi Sunni Arab extremist  would enter into an agreement with Persian Shiites is about as probable as Ian Paisley teaming up with the Vatican secret service. When the education ministry accidentally issued ten million exoercise books with the name "Persian Gulf" on a map on the cover they preferred to pulp them all then let Saudi youngsters see the treachery. I've had perfectly reasonable Sunnis, who think nothing of sitting next to me and having a conversation for a couple of hours tell me, an infidel from thousands of miles away,  that they would never trust a Shiite, even though there were hundreds of thousands of them all around. Baer seems to me to be a fantasist.

I don;t think the other details on the CBC "story" are worth going into. It is certain, that some money went from Saudis to Al-Qaeeda, just as it is certain that some money went from New Yorkers to the IRA. We don't claim Reagan was responsible for blowing up the Brighton Hotel however, nor claim that the head of Western Union was financing terrorism because the IRA might have used their services to transfer funds.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, April 01, 2004

Get it while it's hot!

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/03/30/bush.reversals.ap/index.html

The Contrarian
Friday, April 02, 2004

Bush Flips, Then Flops


I wonder if the "W" in G.W. stands for "Waffle"?


Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it.

Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.

Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.

Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it.

Bush is against nation building; then he's for it.

Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.

"President Bush promised in a speech he gave in 2002 that he would not use the site for political reasons," said Lasar. "We believed him. We trusted him. He has broken his promise to us. To say that we're outraged is the truth."
(http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/03/12/september11.families/)

Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.

Bush is against the U.S. taking a role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict; then he pushes for a "road map" and a Palestinian State.

Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the constitution.

Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't.

Bush first says that 'help is on the way' to the military ... then he cuts benefits

Bush-"The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. Bush-"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care.

Bush claims to be in favor of the environment and then secretly starts drilling on Padre Island.

Bush talks about helping education and increases mandates while cutting funding.

Bush first says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea. Now he will

Bush goes to Bob Jones University. Then say's he shouldn't have.

Bush said he would demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq. Later Bush announced he would not call for a vote

Bush said the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the sailors. Bush later admits it was his advance team.

Bush was for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the US. Bush after meeting with Pres. Fox, he's against it.

And that's just one president from Texas...
--------------------------------------------------------
DICK CHENEY, Secretary of Defense (before Senate Armed Services Committee) 1991:

"Congress has let me cancel a few programs, but you've squabbled and sometimes bickered and horse traded and ended up forcing me to spend money on weapons that don't fill a vital need in these times of tight budgets and new requirements. "You've directed me to buy the V-22, a program I don't need. You've directed me to buy more M-1s, F-14s and F-16s... Congress has directed me to spend money on all kinds of things that are not related to defense, but mostly related to politics back home in the district."

And in 2004, he is criticiing Kerry for voting against those very programs.....

"What we're concerned about, what I'm concerned about, is his record in the United States Senate, where he clearly has over the years adopted a series of positions that indicate a desire to cut the defense budget, to cut the intelligence budget, to eliminate many major weapons programs."

The Contrarian
Friday, April 02, 2004

Kerry is the same as Bush, represents the same constituency, big business et al. There will be little change to current economic and foreign policy if Kerry wins. Those people made unemployed by outsourcing will become good candidates for the draft. Shipped over to Iraq to fight the local population who a trying to regain control of their own country and its only resource, oil. Don't be unemployed post Nov 2004!

mc_kool
Monday, April 05, 2004

LOL!

Asian
Monday, April 05, 2004

Ditto LOL.

888

anon
Monday, April 05, 2004

I don't see how computer skills would help some one fire off a M16, read below. I bet people studing Arabic culture and language at various colleges would be feeling a bit nervous.

Special Skills Draft" in the Offing?

"The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages," reported the March 13 San Francisco Chronicle. "The Selective Service System [SSS] has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request."

According to SSS spokesman Richard Flahavan, targeted conscription "is strictly in the planning stage. We want to gear up and make sure we are capable of providing [those types of draftees] since that’s the more likely need" than a full-fledged general draft.

mc_kool
Monday, April 05, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home