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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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media economy coverage

(PKrug Twitter)

if your picture of the economy came entirely from headlines and cable chyrons — which is probably true for many — would you know that the economy has grown 6.7 percent under Biden so far and inflation for the past 6 months was 1.9 percent?


  • Ya too bad that the facts are that under Biden real wages have shrunk every month he has been in office and due to his Covid stimulus give aways...shrunk the working population and created more inflation. Look at your heating bill lately? Look at your grocery bill lately? Cost inputs are still going up thanks in many ways to the incompetent grifter in the White House.

    David, you're sounding like that other leftist, quasi-Marxist guy Lewis who somehow can post stuff like how great the 1619 anti american project nonsense is and the board soaks it up. Soon as someone disagrees, all the lefties come out of the woodwork and say keep the focus on investing.

    C'mon guys, what's up with all that?

    Baseball Fan
  • Can it really be that you don’t know how any of this stuff works?
  • Can it really be that you don’t know how any of this stuff works?


    ...And I can digest snark, up to a point, myself. But the kool-aid brainwashed vitriol just tells me that the source of such a remark has eagerly turned off his brain and turned on the switch which auto-permits trash and lies to fill it. Fixed Noise, much?
  • edited January 2023
    I would wager a sizable sum that Baseball_Fan has never read the 1619 Project and is merely parroting what he hears from the usual sources. Nor does he know what Marxism is. I suspect any sort of taxation to him for purposes other than the protection of his personal property he views as Marxism. Wanting, say, a public park or public schools makes you a Marxist. Meanwhile, numerous studies have shown the very capitalist stock market has performed better under “tax and spend” Democratic presidents than Republican ones.

    Moreover, Biden worked for over 30 years as a senator of Delaware, the nation’s incorporation capital, helping to pass legislation highly favorable to the extremely capitalist credit card and banking industries. But somehow he’s a Marxist too for wanting poor people to eat, our roads and bridges to be repaired and children and the elderly to have healthcare.

    Where do people who oppose any sort of taxpayer funded government programs think the money goes other than the private sector in the U.S.? The two work in concert in the U.S.. That is not Marxism by any means. The reason Moderna's stock has done so well is the government spent billions of dollars helping it develop vaccines and then purchased those vaccines from it. That is true for the entire healthcare sector by the way. And yes, as DavidrMoran has pointed out, such government spending stimulates the economy, creating jobs and increasing GDP. It's called the multiplier effect, not Marxism.
  • I won't speculate what he knows or reads, but economic data at the macro level are at about the same difficulty as baseball, imo, which he is a fan of. I am utterly charmed at the fancy that this 'board' soaks up progtard or similar stuff.
  • Couldn't have summed it up any better. And I am still a "Bernie guy" on economic issues.
  • edited January 2023

    By the way, if he knows it, it must just kill Trump that the annualized return for the stock market was 13.8% under Obama versus Trump's 13.7%.
  • Since this thread is apparently open for politics here goes.

    As distressing as the inflation in the US is, it is far worse in Europe and many other countries. That cannot be blamed on Biden. This is a worldwide phenomena. I tend to believe the one stimulus passed under Biden was too much. Without it, the Democrats could have blamed all the inflation on Trump policies. I guess they thought it was still necessary.

    An overlooked feature of the Chips act is the massive investment in Red States and jobs that do not require college.

    I have read a lot of the 1619 project and object strongly to it's thesis that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery. This distortion has been widely criticized by professional historians. The NYT is actively promoting 1619 for high school curricula although none of it's authors are historians, and I object to that as strongly as I object to the continuously right wing WSJ editorials.

    On the other hand I can understand some of the criticism in Florida of the Advanced Placement African-American curriculum if, in it's final section, it really does focus on "intersectionalism", black queerness, and demand reparations, without any other perspectives.

    I am generally a lifetime Democrat and strongly support helping people get ahead. To me this means safe neighborhoods and workplaces, laws controlling buildings and roads, decent public schools and rewarding someone financially for a job well done with advancement. Leaving all of these to the private sector, without regulation, is a proven disaster

    I do agree that the Government should cost as little as possible and there are many things the private sector does better, and there are many things people should pay for themselves, if they alone are to benefit. Building sports stadiums come to mind. I do not think the Government should shower benefits on one group or company exclusively if they are not available to everyone and increase our taxes to pay for it.

    Bernie was right to focus on the massive wealth accumulation that investment, side deals and other benefits Federal laws allowed to happen . But his demand that I help pay off all student loans goes to far.
    I do think people with adequate resources should pay the full price for their kids education, and these people should not get their student loans forgiven. However, when the government twists the regulations for private for profit "colleges", to allow their owners to get very rich, under a woman whose family, already billionaires, personally benefits from these regulations ( DeVoes), there is a moral duty to deal with the financial disaster that these regulations caused in students lives.
  • edited January 2023
    Yes. "Woke" has just gone way too far. It's to the point where any recognizable standard of behavior or academic touchstone has become the enemy. That's just wrong. We live today in a society in which the overarching norm is excessive ridiculous, individual-ism: I must be permitted to do whatever I want, and be free to be ME. But who is ME? Well, I haven't figured that out yet, and don't care to be bothered to give any attention to Reality. I'll just be "me" in my own little vacuum which I foist upon everyone else, because no one has the balls to say: "wait a minute. You can't claim X or Y or Z without any kind of evidence except your own feelings.

    Critical Thinking, much??????? LOGIC was a REQUIRED course when I entered college as a freshman. And at least some Philosophy courses were mandatory, as well: to expose students to challenging ideas, to investigate the nature of the way things ARE. Sad to see that Philosophy has morphed into mere word-games in more recent years. Deeper questions of Ethics and Meaning are left for someone else to worry about. What a pity.

    But nevermind all that. I just want to blare this gawd-awful noise with my windows rolled down in my car, loud enough to wake the dead and shake buildings as I pass by. Because consideration for others doesn't matter to me, nor the car manufacturers who pander to brain-dead narcissists like me.
  • edited January 2023
    While I have my own issues with student loan forgiveness, I can understand the perspective of Millennials and Gen Zs who think it’s hypocritical that many in the older generation were perfectly fine with two massive government taxpayer funded bailouts of financial markets in 2008-09 and 2020 in which the younger generations have little invested because in part they are laden with student debt. Not to mention the fact that in some cases I imagine they are indebted to the very banks that were bailed out with taxpayer dollars in 2009. That is on top of the bailouts “small businesses” got in 2020, which the government defines as any company with less than 500 employees—many large companies qualified.

    And finally, the cost of tuition is astonishing today even at public universities, when the older generations had much more affordable educations. The average cost of attendance for a student living on campus at a public 4-year in-state institution is $25,707 per year or $102,828 over 4 years. Out-of-state students pay $43,421 per year or $173,684 over 4 years. Private, nonprofit university students pay $54,501 per year or $218,004 over 4 years. This in a country where tuition at public universities was once exceedingly low and in certain cases free. It is also true that it is extremely difficult for anyone to have a middle class life today without a college degree when this was not the case in earlier generations. Well-paying Industrial blue collar jobs that don’t require a degree have largely disappeared in 2023. So kids have to go to college and they end up in debt because of it.
  • +1 Lewis Your second paragraph sums up the situation perfectly. I graduated from a Catholic university in 1983. Tuition, room and meals cost around $7,000 while today's total is around $77,000!
  • Two sectors where prices have grown the fastest for many years are two which IMHO should be accessible to all: education and health care.


    From an 1887 letter from the Commissioner of the Department of Education, referencing Thomas Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, Query XIV:
    Jefferson devised an ingenious plan whereby the boys of best talent, the sons of the people, might be discovered and sent forward, although poor, to preparatory colleges, and finally to the University of Virginia. Such a plan is now in practical operation in the, State of New York, in connection with Cornell University, which accepted the agricultural college land grant upon the condition of free education to talented graduates of local high schools and academies, and also prevails in many other States, where young men receive the benefits of the higher education, without charge for tuition, at the State universities and agricultural land-grant colleges. Natural selection and the survival of the fittest are great needs in American schools, colleges, and universities. Jefferson's ideas, if they should ever be realized throughout the country, will deliver us on the one hand from the over-education of mediocrity, and on the other from the under-education of genius. It is the duty of democracy to evolve from itself the highest talent, not only for government and administration, but for the advancement of science and the arts.
    Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia (1888)

    Jefferson posited that for the benefit of society, education should be available to everyone up to their ability level or further if willing to pay.

    In a recently concluded college course in rhetoric, we were split into groups to debate the merits of free tuition (the topic I suggested for debate). There are valid, and many invalid, arguments on both sides. While I was assigned to the anti-free tuition group, personally I side with TJ.
  • edited January 2023
    There is also of course the PPP business loan forgiveness hypocrisy from the 2020 bailouts: It's OK for Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene to get their business loans forgiven, but not students.

    There are also ancillary benefits to society overall from an educated populace: less crime, better understanding of the political process and an educated workforce to compete with other nations. It isn't just me, me, me as Crash suggested, although a degree is pretty much essential now to be in the middle class. Ironically, there are states today that spend more tax dollars on prisons than they do on public schools and their university systems.
  • edited January 2023
    >> Yes. "Woke" has just gone way too far. It's to the point where any recognizable standard of behavior or academic touchstone has become the enemy. That's just wrong.

    Sorry, is this sarcasm? If not, examples? Not clear what you're talking about.

    >> I have read a lot of the 1619 project and object strongly to it's [] thesis that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery. This distortion has been widely criticized by professional historians.

    I'd say you have not kept up. Lots of modulation and text changes and emphasis since initial publication. No serious historians objected to its general centering of institutionalized racialized slavery in the American story. To some details still, sure.

    Good to see someone siding w TJ as his star continues to fall.
  • @LewisBraham

    At least in Southwestern Connecticut, Electric Boat is desperate to hire "blue collar" technically trained industrial workers to build subs. They subsidize the training programs in high school and guarantee a job if student finishes program. Unlike the Cape, where you can charge $350 to put in a toilet ( personal experience) people can afford to live in SW CT.

    A lot of the CHIPS act and Inflation Reduction Act is directed exactly at building those training programs in Red States

    How US compares to the rest of the world in College expenses

    "All told, including the contributions of individual families and the government (in the form of student loans, grants, and other assistance), Americans spend about $30,000 per student a year—nearly twice as much as the average developed country. “The U.S. is in a class of its own,” says Andreas Schleicher, the director for education and skills at the OECD, and he does not mean this as a compliment. “Spending per student is exorbitant, and it has virtually no relationship to the value that students could possibly get in exchange.”

    For example, U.S. colleges spend, relative to other countries, a startling amount of money on their nonteaching staff, according to the OECD data."

    That doesn't include the climbing gyms, hot tubs and locally sourced organic food the students demand!
  • edited January 2023
    @Sma3 An anecdote about Southwest, Connecticut does not a national trend make: This long-term loss of manufacturing jobs is only going to get worse with time due to automation.

    I also don't think it helps to stereotype the younger generations as wasteful foolish ones that spend all their money on "hot tubs and locally sourced organic food." What's next, a mention of avocado toast? The truth is, Gen Z and Millennials spend more money on some things than Boomers and Xers and less on others. They probably find what we spend on our cars and houses wasteful:
  • The point about the hot tubs was meant to illustrate one of the sources of rising college tuition that has nothing to do with education. In order to attract higher income students, whose parents will pay the full tuition, colleges ( including public colleges) have spent lavishly on climbing walls, luxurious dorms, saunas, locally sourced all organic expensive food that no middle class family could afford.

    Any school that doesn't looses "customers" whose parents can write checks for $50,000 plus a year.

    When I went to the University of Texas in the 1970s we ate enchiladas and meatloaf. Now even the kids there get kale, organic sprouts, six desert stations, all you can eat fresh midnight cookies etc.

    There was one University I read about a few years ago that decided to lower their tuition to attract more applicants. In fact their applications fell dramatically because applicants thought they might not get all the services other schools were offering.

    It is an arms race that has little to do with the quality of the education, but the image and amenities.
  • edited January 2023
    I see. There's truth to that about the arms race. I think though a lot of the funding from the government has dried up in the case of public universities, and that is also a reason tuitions have gone up. Meanwhile, grants for students such as the old federal Pell Grants have disappeared and been replaced with loans.

    Regarding wages for college graduates vs non-college ones:

  • edited January 2023
    University auxiliary services (bookstores, dorms, dining halls, gyms, sports, stadiums, etc) have their own operating budgets and are not part of the academic budgets (tuition, faculty/staff salaries).

    Public university tuitions have gone up because state supports have declined significantly. At my university, state support was about 70-80% when I started, but only 10-15% by the time I retired. Some joked that we could stop using the state's name and be free but the explanation was that it wasn't simple - as land-grant university, we got lot of land, and buildings that were from separate capital budgets, and it would be impossible to pay for those.

    In as much as out-of-state tuitions are attractive to universities, several have strict limits on nonstate enrollments. This is because for each nonstate student admitted, there may be a qualifying state student not admitted.

    Private university tuitions are going up because many rich folks are willing to pay for the name and prestige; but lot of students get financial aid (via scholarships, grants, loans, campus work) and their effective tuition may be about half the listed tuitions.

    Community colleges/2-yr colleges are mostly funded locally (property taxes, etc); there is some state funding too. Often, one has to a resident in the district to qualify for low tuition.
  • @Yogibullbear

    Their budgets may be axillary, and for a lot of Public Universities, football and basketball pay for all of the other athletic programs combined, but the money still comes from the students for the most part through increased room and board fees , books etc.

    The other insanity is the endowments of many top universities would pay all their operating costs for years, but if they can get parents to pay , they limit the withdrawals to only the bare legal minimum.

    As the students are aware of how much it costs to go to College now, and pick majors that will ( they think) allow them to make those kind of salaries

    30% of the students at the Ivy League U my son attended were majoring in finance, to work on wall street. They knew teaching, social work, etc would never support their kids.
  • College education is ridiculous expensive these days even at public universities. We spent several hundred thousand dollars for our kids just for their bachelor degrees. Whereas we the parents got our undergraduate degrees for a small fraction of what is costing us today. Back then we worked part time throughout the year, plus a number of small scholarships, and somehow we managed to graduate without debts. The tuition and housing was affordable, but that is no longer true today. If it wasn’t for the 529 plan investment our kids would have large loan debts. These days there are very few academic scholarship opportunities available even when they graduated on top of their classes.
  • I had some debt when I graduated, but nothing compared to what college students today face. Perhaps instead of debt cancellation, the young should be fighting for a return to generous Federal Pell grants for education and increased state subsidization and tuition caps for public universities. I imagine the GOP would be far more infuriated by such politics than debt cancellation. The truly bizarre thing about the tuition trend is that adjunct professors get paid peanuts, often starvation wages, while the tuitions are astronomical. The whole system seems dysfunctional.
  • edited January 2023
    @sma3: Do you mean SE Connecticut, where EB is located? SW CT includes Darien, Greenwich, and other très cher communities.
  • >> Yes. "Woke" has just gone way too far. It's to the point where any recognizable standard of behavior or academic touchstone has become the enemy. That's just wrong.

    Sorry, is this sarcasm? If not, examples? Not clear what you're talking about.
    Not sarcasm. A bit of hyperbole, I suppose. The Woke thing in general has just become a ridiculous free-for-all by which we are just supposed to assent to anything, anywhere, anyway, anyhow. Hairstyle legislation? Gimme a break. Reparations to be paid for what happened hundreds of years ago? C'mon. ... And I'm supposed to address this one person standing in front of me as "they?" Silliness. But a big chunk of our society is buying into it all. We are doomed. Common sense and any sort of recognition for the very need for standards of any sort are gone. The victim-card is just de rigueur now.

    De Santis is a jerk. REQUIRING that a thing must NOT be taught? I can't fart loud enough to express how utterly stoopid that is. (In his case, Critical Race Theory. But that doesn't mean I buy-into CRT, lock, stock and barrel. ) Just how guilty and privileged am I supposed to feel? Bushwah.
  • so confused and conflated!
  • edited January 2023
    Nuance, details and context matter. Making generalizations about the 1619 Project is foolish. (And “foolish” is a polite word for what I think of doing this.) The original 2019 publication in the NYT magazine was 100 pages of ten different essays by ten different authors on different subjects. The project has since grown to be over 600 pages. To just dismiss the project in its entirety is equivalent to picking up a book of essays by various authors, reading one, and saying “this book stinks.” In fact, such generalizations without reading the material smack of prejudice, i.e., to prejudge a group of essays in this case without giving them a chance. (And again, “prejudiced” is a less inflammatory word for what I think describes people who dismiss without reading the 1619 Project.)

    I’ll be specific and honest. I have not read the entire Project. The essay that interested me, which I’ve previously discussed here, was the one on “low-road capitalism” by Matthew Desmond because of its direct relationship to subjects discussed on this board:
    The question that fascinates me in this essay is whether the institution of slavery influenced how capitalism in the U.S. functions today—how labor is treated, how certain investments such as mortgage bonds came to exist and how profit generation in a still capitalist system might be different if we took the high road instead of the low one.
  • +1 I think capitalism in the US became too used to free/low cost labor based on the prevalence of slavery, indentured servants and convict leasing-and thus American capitalism doesn't value labor.
  • edited January 2023
    carew388 said:

    +1 I think capitalism in the US became too used to free/low cost labor based on the prevalence of slavery, indentured servants and convict leasing-and thus American capitalism doesn't value labor.

    Exploiting Overseas Foreign Workers still goes on today. Perfectly legal in many places. Permitted, acknowledged, expected. But if the economy turns south and there's a cut-back in hours, those workers, under contract, are slaves, tied to that location. Bed and food provided. But when they don't make much money? Well, they simply don't make much money. It was happening under the U.S. flag in Saipan until the GWB years, when the gummint put a stop to it--- in THAT particular place. No cheap labor? Then we'll go elsewhere, said the clothing companies.
    A related story: US law permits manufacturers to claim a garment was American made if just one step in the process is done on US soil. So, one famous maker of blue jeans hired Vietnamese workers because they could be paid in peanuts. The jeans were manufactured, finished, ready to wear. Then they were shipped to Saipan, where a flag and logo was sewn onto the back pocket. The slogan said: "Made in the USA." As the French would say: "Merd."
  • jesus fucking christ

    anyone can be a nerde* about this:

    This is almost as comical as getting woke wrong, CRT wrong, 1619 wrong, mixing in car audio and god knows what all.

    you k, bruh?
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