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March 10, 2004

Things That Make U Go Hmmm ...

Trade Gap Hits Record $43.1 Billion in January -- Hey kids, outsourcing IS fun. Actually, nothing to do with outsourcing - but the figure does make Kerry's instinct to look after the American worker - rather than the American CEO - seem stronger. The world's oil men are doing nicely though, thank you for asking.

---- South Dakota legislature has passed ban on nearly all abortions Lil, ole South Dakota, 3 Electoral votes. And guess what? Pro-life groups are against the idea. Down IS Up. Traitor IS Patriot. Liberty IS Death.

---- Job Creationism (think about it). The Decembrist (got the link from somewhere) says the mantra of jobs will come is all about faith - but the corporate world's different. An excerpt:
We have been consistently invited to give up security in exchange for short-term prosperity. More overtime, more consulting, and more domestic outsourcing mean that some people and their families are doing well -- often better than they would be doing on a salary, and often with the chance to start their own businesses, even if it is doing just the same thing they used to do as an employee. Other examples of the tradeoff: We are rapidly giving up defined-benefit pensions, which ensure a fixed income for life, in favor of defined-contribution plans, which involve individual stock market investments, with the potential for greater returns but more risk. In calling once again for private accounts in Social Security, Bush is asking to do the same with that portion of national savings. We are giving up savings that used to be held in passbook accounts and certificates of deposit, in favor of mutual funds and stocks. These tradeoffs are not all bad. For many people, especially when we have a certain amount of security in the form of skills, or financial support or a home, there is vastly more opportunity in this economy than in the economy of the 1970s. But the loss of security comes at a huge price.

This must be part of the case for government going forward. Government, under the liberal consensus of the New Deal through the 1970s, did not redistribute income. Rather, government's greatest achievement was to create SECURITY -- the kind of security that created the opportunity to join the middle class.