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View Full Version : Economics America’s Middle Class Crisis: The Sobering Fact


ROYC75
05-09-2011, 02:58 PM
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Two recessions, a couple of market crashes, and stubbornly high unemployment are all wreaking havoc on America's middle class.

In the accompanying interview, The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task discusses the state of the middle class with Sherle Schwenninger, director of economic growth and American strategy programs at the New America Foundation. Schwenninger's recent report "The American Middle Class Under Stress" has some stunning facts that highlight the struggles the average American is having getting a decent-paying job and keeping up with rising cost of living.

Here are just some of the sobering facts:

-- There are 8.5 million people receiving unemployment insurance and over 40 million receiving food stamps.

-- At the current pace of job creation, the economy won't return to full employment until 2018.

-- Middle-income jobs are disappearing from the economy. The share of middle-income jobs in the United States has fallen from 52% in 1980 to 42% in 2010.

-- Middle-income jobs have been replaced by low-income jobs, which now make up 41% of total employment.

-- 17 million Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor's degree.

-- Over the past year, nominal wages grew only 1.7% while all consumer prices, including food and energy, increased by 2.7%.

-- Wages and salaries have fallen from 60% of personal income in 1980 to 51% in 2010. Government transfers have risen from 11.7% of personal income in 1980 to 18.4% in 2010, a post-war high.

The bottom line is simple says Schwenninger: The middle class is shrinking, which threatens the social composition and stability of the world's biggest economy. "I worry that we're becoming a barbell society - a lot of money wealth and power at the top, increasing hollowness at the center, which I think provides the stability and the heart and soul of the society... and then too many people in fear of falling down.

fbal4lif32
05-09-2011, 03:25 PM
One explanation is that this is almost exclusively the work of the market forces due to globalization.

Another explanation is that although globalization has played a role, governmental policies over the past few decades have also played just as much a detriment on the middle class. These policies have tended to deregulate the financial sector, provide larger tax cuts to the wealthiest in America, and overall, protected business interests at the expense of the majority of Americans.

ROYC75
05-09-2011, 03:41 PM
We do need jobs, lots of them. Good paying jobs with the rise in the cost of living. The poor will never get to middle class unless the jobs are there and we can ween them off the governments tits.

fbal4lif32
05-09-2011, 03:43 PM
We do need jobs, lots of them. Good paying jobs with the rise in the cost of living. The poor will never get to middle class unless the jobs are there and we can ween them off the governments tits.

So how do we get jobs?

BucEyedPea
05-09-2011, 04:31 PM
One explanation is that this is almost exclusively the work of the market forces due to globalization.
FALSE! The globalist trade agreements are not free-market agreements. They are neo-mercantilist agreements that favor certain corporations. They are loaded with socialism for losses and mangaged markets for profits

Another explanation is that although globalization has played a role, governmental policies over the past few decades have also played just as much a detriment on the middle class. These policies have tended to deregulate the financial sector, provide larger tax cuts to the wealthiest in America, and overall, protected business interests at the expense of the majority of Americans.[/QUOTE]

The financial sector removed certain regulations and replaced them with new and untried regulations. You could remove some of those regulations if a different system was used such as one that relies on sound money. They use govt to twist arms of countries to join in this game.

I would say your conclusion is a result of the Fabian attempt to create economic crises using govt to then make a believable claim that markets don't work to implement more socialism. This is not a workable solution either. Govt is the problem.

BucEyedPea
05-09-2011, 04:35 PM
So how do we get jobs?

Certainly not from the govt. Govt does not produce or make anything. Entrepreneurs and businsess create jobs. So we get jobs by not growing so much govt it takes capital needed by the private sector to grow which will lead to job creation. Govt spending ( war and entitlelments) just crowds private economic activity. The trade agreements need to be done away with as well as GATT amd WTO. The Fed needs to be reigned in, at least, for those who think we must keep it. But we do need sound money too.

mikey23545
05-09-2011, 05:22 PM
One explanation is that this is almost exclusively the work of the market forces due to globalization.

Another explanation is that although globalization has played a role, governmental policies over the past few decades have also played just as much a detriment on the middle class. These policies have tended to deregulate the financial sector, provide larger tax cuts to the wealthiest in America, and overall, protected business interests at the expense of the majority of Americans.

It's Bush's fault, silly.

fbal4lif32
05-09-2011, 06:21 PM
FALSE! The globalist trade agreements are not free-market agreements. They are neo-mercantilist agreements that favor certain corporations. They are loaded with socialism for losses and mangaged markets for profits

Such as?

The financial sector removed certain regulations and replaced them with new and untried regulations. You could remove some of those regulations if a different system was used such as one that relies on sound money. They use govt to twist arms of countries to join in this game.

I would say your conclusion is a result of the Fabian attempt to create economic crises using govt to then make a believable claim that markets don't work to implement more socialism. This is not a workable solution either. Govt is the problem.

My post just stated the major explanations for why the American working and middle class is seeing dire days, compared to previous decades. It's not really a conclusion. I don't like arguing theoretical philosophy on matters of practicality (like government and economics) so I've got nothing to counter the libertarian and Marxist arguments.

fbal4lif32
05-09-2011, 06:24 PM
Certainly not from the govt. Govt does not produce or make anything. Entrepreneurs and businsess create jobs. So we get jobs by not growing so much govt it takes capital needed by the private sector to grow which will lead to job creation. Govt spending ( war and entitlelments) just crowds private economic activity. The trade agreements need to be done away with as well as GATT amd WTO. The Fed needs to be reigned in, at least, for those who think we must keep it. But we do need sound money too.

Nice soundbite, but the trade agreements aren't going to be done away with. They are going to expand.

mlyonsd
05-09-2011, 06:57 PM
So how do we get jobs?Can Michelle's childhood obesity program and push fast food.

go bowe
05-09-2011, 07:09 PM
Can Michelle's childhood obesity program and push fast food.

hey, it's working for mcdonalds...

banyon
05-09-2011, 07:13 PM
Such as?



My post just stated the major explanations for why the American working and middle class is seeing dire days, compared to previous decades. It's not really a conclusion. I don't like arguing theoretical philosophy on matters of practicality (like government and economics) so I've got nothing to counter the libertarian and Marxist arguments.

Ha. She'll cite NAFTA and the FTAA, and WTO, but when you press her for why they're not free trade agreements, it something like "well it's only 99.4% pure free market, if only it were 100%, then everything would work magically perfect". And of course any comparative or historical data comparisons are irrelevant. It's all quite faith-based.

I've tried to get her to show me where subsidies were in NAFTA for probably 5 years. She doesn't know. She's never looked at the actual documents.

BucEyedPea
05-09-2011, 11:54 PM
Such as?
Such as the trade agreements I mentioned.
If you want more, use the search here, and you will find some of my posts on that. You can try NAFTA for starters.



My post just stated the major explanations for why the American working and middle class is seeing dire days, compared to previous decades. It's not really a conclusion. I don't like arguing theoretical philosophy on matters of practicality (like government and economics) so I've got nothing to counter the libertarian and Marxist arguments.

Either way, the explanations are false. I wasn't arguing theory. It was based on practicality and truth. I am also not a libertarian, fyi.

Usually when I find someone thinks free-market economics are just theory, they turn out to be either from the Keynesian camp or the quasi-Keynesian camp of Monetarists. They usually arrogantly assume how markets actually work in reality is theory, while their own experiment is collapsing right before everyone's eyes. Severe case of denial. You must be a Fedster.

BucEyedPea
05-09-2011, 11:55 PM
Nice soundbite, but the trade agreements aren't going to be done away with. They are going to expand.

It's the truth—not a soundbite—and I didn't make a case for whether they are going to stay or not. I made a case for their being a cause. You sound like you work for one of those groups as a footsoldiers on the net or were miseducmacated in school.

fbal4lif32
05-10-2011, 12:22 AM
Such as the trade agreements I mentioned.
If you want more, use the search here, and you will find some of my posts on that. You can try NAFTA for starters.

Er, I meant the socialism aspects of them. I'm not going to go on a wild goose chase through this board to find your wild claims. If you can't come up with a source to back up your talk, then I'm just going to assume you're making things up or have no idea what you're talking about. What I'm not going to do is spend time digging through previous threads in which you may or may not have stated the answer I'm looking for. That's the kind of work young lawyers do at big law firms, except they get paid $100K/year.

Either way, the explanations are false. I wasn't arguing theory. It was based on practicality and truth. I am also not a libertarian, fyi.

Usually when I find someone thinks free-market economics are just theory, they turn out to be either from the Keynesian camp or the quasi-Keynesian camp of Monetarists. They usually arrogantly assume how markets actually work in reality is theory, while their own experiment is collapsing right before everyone's eyes. Severe case of denial. You must be a Fedster.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

fbal4lif32
05-10-2011, 12:28 AM
It's the truth—not a soundbite—and I didn't make a case for whether they are going to stay or not. I made a case for their being a cause. You sound like you work for one of those groups as a footsoldiers on the net or were miseducmacated in school.

Let's look our discussion in this thread over:

I presented the two dominant, mainstream theories of globalization's role in America's sagging workforce. You claimed one of them was FALSE! and how the free trade agreement is actually socialism, and how they need to be done away with. I asked why they are socialist (you evaded the question) and I said they are not going away; you then accuse me of being a footsoldier on the net or having been miseducmacated in school.

Great conversation.

BucEyedPea
05-10-2011, 12:33 AM
Let's look our discussion in this thread over:

I presented the two dominant, mainstream theories of globalization's role in America's sagging workforce. You claimed one of them was FALSE! and how the free trade agreement is actually socialism, and how they need to be done away with. I asked why they are socialist (you evaded the question) and I said they are not going away; you then accuse me of being a footsoldier on the net or having been miseducmacated in school.

Great conversation.

That's just it I didn't say they were socialist. I said they had socialism for losses and free-markets for profit. I said they were mercantilist agreements written to benefit certain corporations.That obviously is saying they're a mixed bag. They are essentially managed trade—and managed trade is not FREE trade.

I answered your question by repeating what I originally said because THAT was the same answer to it. You just don't like the answer because it doesn't fall into you preset choices. You wanted more specifics— I told you where it was already on this board. I assure you it's there. You asked for something that's too loaded for a short post at 1:32 AM. I try to not re-post and re-debate previous long debates. I told you where you can get it. You can do the rest IF you really want it that bad. But you don't because you were really being rhetorical and you know it.

BucEyedPea
05-10-2011, 12:40 AM
Why Managed Trade is NOT Free Trade (http://www.thefreemanonline.org/featured/why-managed-trade-is-not-free-trade/)


http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=224335&highlight=nafta

BucEyedPea
05-10-2011, 12:57 AM
Free Trade Follies (http://www.lewrockwell.com/archives/fm/4-95.html)


Those who trumpeted Free Trade were the same folks who brought you the $50 billion handout to Mexico, which was really a bailout of U.S. investment houses and big banks that risked their capital in a socialist country. When a foreign economy falls apart under real free trade, we'd say: tough. Capitalism is the profit and loss system. But under Nafta, profits are private and losses are socialized.

Yup!

In those few horrid weeks in January 1995, Clinton and the Republican elite implemented the hoariest mistakes of mercantilism, looted the consumer, put Wall Street on welfare, and expanded the power and reach of the central state.


....Well, Messrs. Clinton and Gingrich have stopped lecturing us on free-trade theory – until they start campaigning to spread the Nafta disease throughout the rest of this hemisphere, and the state's propaganda apparatus swings into action once again.

The Grinch is a fraud and has the nerve to run for President now!

penchief
05-10-2011, 08:30 AM
So how do we get jobs?

Haven't you heard? Three decades of deregulation, corporate tax cuts, and tax cuts for the rich are supposed to create jobs. At least that's what the mantra from the right has always been. Where are the results? Too bad honest conservatives have been duped for the past 30 years.

I'd like someone to explain to me why the right still clamors for the same ideological economic policies that have proven to yield the exact opposite of what is claimed. Trickle down class warfare always has been and always will be a scam desigined to consolidate wealth and power.

fbal4lif32
05-10-2011, 09:46 AM
I said they had socialism for losses and free-markets for profit.

Sorry, don't know what that means.

BucEyedPea
05-10-2011, 09:54 AM
That's all you got? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight! Project much?

They are corporate welfare instruments. However, you can't correctly educate those who are already mis-edumacated! So I don't expect you to see it let alone understand it. The same way you can't see the Vatican as a non-coercive state.

fbal4lif32
05-10-2011, 10:40 AM
That's all you got? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight! Project much?

They are corporate welfare instruments. However, you can't correctly educate those who are already mis-edumacated! So I don't expect you to see it let alone understand it. The same way you can't see the Vatican as a non-coercive state.

I just don't know what you mean by your phrase. I'm not familiar with the concepts. Is that a projection?

Amnorix
05-10-2011, 10:42 AM
That's all you got? Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight! Project much?

They are corporate welfare instruments. However, you can't correctly educate those who are already mis-edumacated! So I don't expect you to see it let alone understand it. The same way you can't see the Vatican as a non-coercive state.


http://silencedmajority.blogs.com/.a/6a00d834520b4b69e2013484835a48970c-500wi

BucEyedPea
05-10-2011, 11:29 AM
I just don't know what you mean by your phrase. I'm not familiar with the concepts. Is that a projection?

No. I only glanced at it and read it wrong unless there was an edit in the interim.
So I will revise that to "unbuccing-believable! "

K?

Bump
05-10-2011, 01:22 PM
maybe it would help if people didn't shop at wal mart and payed attention to what they buy. Stop buying crap that's made in china, seriously, or cut down on it at least. That's something that might help.

Also, this country really only cares about it's bottom and top 1%, so anything that will be done will only benefit them.

BucEyedPea
05-10-2011, 01:40 PM
maybe it would help if people didn't shop at wal mart and payed attention to what they buy. Stop buying crap that's made in china, seriously, or cut down on it at least. That's something that might help.

Also, this country really only cares about it's bottom and top 1%, so anything that will be done will only benefit them.

Imo, the Walmart meme is a red-herring since most of what you buy pretty much everywhere is made in China nowadays. I'm not against cheap imports. I am against slave labor which they use over there. By that I don't mean low wages but actual involuntary servitude. I am also against, corporations in bed with govt engineering markets for themselves as opposed to a true free-market. If they invest in risky countries, aka countries that don't have natural law, they take the hit if things go south. That right there is natural barrier that makes investing in America more valuable as we do have a system based on natural law—although that is changing for the worse.

Makes one wonder, if this quest to remake rogue govts around the world is not but an old mercantilist dream that's being resurrected for engineered markets including grabbing of natural resources. Hamilton's ghost is proud.

MahiMike
05-10-2011, 05:43 PM
So how do we get jobs?

Massive taxes on globalized companies using foreign workers.

Eliminate the H1B program.

Begin the healthcare standardization system.

Tax cuts/social security cuts for companies hiring.

Reduce cost of health care by 50%.

ROYC75
05-11-2011, 09:56 AM
http://silencedmajority.blogs.com/.a/6a00d834520b4b69e2013484835a48970c-500wi

You picture reminds me of the Liberal's kids riding the coattails of the Liberal Loons. Train them up in the Liberal ways, nurture them along on social programs and let them live off the Big Government.

Just a thought. :D

BucEyedPea
05-11-2011, 10:01 AM
Loons are beautiful.

BucEyedPea
05-11-2011, 10:02 AM
Reduce cost of health care by 50%.

How is govt to do this, when it's policies have led to increases in price?

Dallas Chief
05-11-2011, 02:30 PM
Loons are beautiful.

They also make a bunch of crazy sounds when they communicate. Sound familiar???

ROYC75
05-11-2011, 02:34 PM
They also make a bunch of crazy sounds when they communicate. Sound familiar???

They do, the left has been making a horrid sound for years.

The Mad Crapper
05-14-2011, 11:23 AM
Obama has made more people homeless than any president in history.

BucEyedPea
05-14-2011, 03:15 PM
Obama has made more people homeless than any president in history.

But at least school kids are getting their luncheon choices photographed on camera and bar-coded courtesy of Thing Two.

Chief Faithful
05-15-2011, 01:02 PM
Haven't you heard? Three decades of deregulation, corporate tax cuts, and tax cuts for the rich are supposed to create jobs. At least that's what the mantra from the right has always been. Where are the results? Too bad honest conservatives have been duped for the past 30 years.

I'd like someone to explain to me why the right still clamors for the same ideological economic policies that have proven to yield the exact opposite of what is claimed. Trickle down class warfare always has been and always will be a scam desigined to consolidate wealth and power.

Three decades of deregulation? Government is larger than ever and the private sector is more regulated that at any point in history. This country could use some real deregulation.

Three decades of corporate tax cuts? Is that why America is among the highest rates in the world?

Three decades of tax cuts for the rich? They still pay by percentage the most while almost 50% of Americans pay no income tax. We are not taxing wealth we are taxing income, which is the primary source of capital needed to grow the economy.

Trickle down? A liberal word with no definition used only to hammer people over the head.

What a worthless post, penchief.

BucEyedPea
05-15-2011, 01:24 PM
Three decades of deregulation? Government is larger than ever and the private sector is more regulated that at any point in history. This country could use some real deregulation.

Three decades of corporate tax cuts? Is that why America is among the highest rates in the world?

Three decades of tax cuts for the rich? They still pay by percentage the most while almost 50% of Americans pay no income tax. We are not taxing wealth we are taxing income, which is the primary source of capital needed to grow the economy.

Trickle down? A liberal word with no definition used only to hammer people over the head.

What a worthless post, penchief.

Great Post to penchief's emotional, knee-jerk, canned talking points for the progressive left. Facts don't matter.

The Mad Crapper
05-15-2011, 02:30 PM
Three decades of deregulation? Government is larger than ever and the private sector is more regulated that at any point in history. This country could use some real deregulation.

Three decades of corporate tax cuts? Is that why America is among the highest rates in the world?

Three decades of tax cuts for the rich? They still pay by percentage the most while almost 50% of Americans pay no income tax. We are not taxing wealth we are taxing income, which is the primary source of capital needed to grow the economy.

Trickle down? A liberal word with no definition used only to hammer people over the head.

What a worthless post, penchief.

OMG what a thrashing.

:clap:

penchief
05-15-2011, 06:17 PM
Three decades of deregulation? Government is larger than ever and the private sector is more regulated that at any point in history. This country could use some real deregulation.

Three decades of corporate tax cuts? Is that why America is among the highest rates in the world?

Three decades of tax cuts for the rich? They still pay by percentage the most while almost 50% of Americans pay no income tax. We are not taxing wealth we are taxing income, which is the primary source of capital needed to grow the economy.

Trickle down? A liberal word with no definition used only to hammer people over the head.

What a worthless post, penchief.

Trickle Down were words that the Reaganites themselves used. I was there to hear them myself.

And no, the post is not worthless. To suggest that thirty years of financial deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthiest, and corporate welfare has no correlation to worsening conditons for the average American family and the decline of the middle class is to deny the reality of the situation.

The consolidation of wealth and power has been underway in this country ever since the "Reagan Revolution." And yes, Trickle Down has been a huge tool in implementing that process.

I ask you, where are the results? Corporate tax cuts were supposed to create jobs. Unless you live in Asia I don't think that end of the bargain has been upheld. Loss of jobs, declining wages, and loss of health care benefits is all we've seen for our faith in the corporate establishment.

The widening gap between the wealthiest and the rest of this country is no coincidence. If the conditions that have been reversed over the past three decades were the culprit why were average Americans so much better off then? Why have the rich become richer while the middle class continues to be squeezed?

Is there merit to some of the conservative arguments? Absolutely. But to ignore the evidence of the past three decades when it comes to the Darwinian economic policies that you and the radical right advocate is to just be ideologically blind.

More of the same is not the antidote to the poison.

penchief
05-15-2011, 06:22 PM
OMG what a thrashing.

:clap:

Hardly. Towing the ideological party line does not a thrashing make.

The real question is whether we view our country as a civil society striving for the common good or an economic feeding frenzy that places greed above humanity.

BucEyedPea
05-15-2011, 06:32 PM
Hardly. Towing the ideological party line does not a thrashing make.


That's what you were doing too?

penchief
05-15-2011, 06:33 PM
Great Post to penchief's emotional, knee-jerk, canned talking points for the progressive left. Facts don't matter.

Government is bloated by corruption. No doubt. However, many of the regulations that have been gutted prevented abuse and corruption.

Essential regulations do not necessarily equate to bloated government.

banyon
05-15-2011, 06:37 PM
Three decades of deregulation? Government is larger than ever and the private sector is more regulated that at any point in history. This country could use some real deregulation.

You and your peanut gallery appear to be suffering under some illusions:

Government payroll:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q8n_poJlg84/TdBYh6KIlTI/AAAAAAAAAEk/EBxPQn9HSDs/s400/Total%2BGovernment%2BEmployment%2BSince%2B1962_1305499616080.jpeg
http://www.opm.gov/feddata/HistoricalTables/TotalGovernmentSince1962.asp

Private regulation :

This point is silly, as the airlines (see the Airline Deregulation Act (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airline_Deregulation_Act), utilities (see ferc order 2000 and ferc order 888, trucking (see the Motor Carrier Act of 1980) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Carrier_Act_of_1980) banks (see Gramm-Leach-Bliley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gramm%E2%80%93Leach%E2%80%93Bliley_Act), futures markets (see Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000)) and importer/exporters (see GATT, WTO, FTAA, NAFTA, whatever) telecommunications (see The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_Act_of_1996)), are all subject to far less regulation than they were 30 years ago. In fact, prior to the dreaded "Obamacare", it is difficult to think of any major regulatory acts which any president, Republican or Democrat has instituted since the early 1970's Clean Air & Water Acts. Just imagine if those acts were passed today what doom the nutty blogosphere would be predicting. So, while it sounds cute to say that "oh man we're so overregulated", the truth is this is the least regulated we've been in 30 years and try comparing it to Europe or China.

Three decades of corporate tax cuts? Is that why America is among the highest rates in the world?

These are the actual top corporate marginal rates :

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/Content/PDF/corporate_historical_bracket.pdf

We're about 17% lower than in the 50's and at the lowest point since WWII.

As for being the corporate rates being the highest "in the world" or among the highest, that really doesn't matter when there are so many loopholes in the code that most Fortune 500 companies pay a lower effective rate than most other countries:

http://cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/images/item/0426-taxrate.jpg




The tax cuts are indeed 3 decades:

http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates-graph.php

As is evident, your beloved "rich" pay far less than they used to, and we're not even talking effective rates with loopholes and shelters. Nor are we factoring in that most of your despised poor deadbeats who typically pay a higher pct of their income in taxes, though it is in sales, FICA, payroll, and property tax.

[quote=Chief Faithful]Trickle down? A liberal word with no definition used only to hammer people over the head.


This chart should speak for itself about the merits of the policies penchief was describing:

http://the-wawg-blog.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/productivity-vs-compentsation.png


[quote=Chief Faithful]What a worthless post, penchief.

Well, for as much unsubstantiated angry ranting as you did, also, I guess your critique of penchief doesn't sway me as much as the cheerleaders.

banyon
05-15-2011, 06:39 PM
Great Post to penchief's emotional, knee-jerk, canned talking points for the progressive left. Facts don't matter.

The last time you were interested in accurate and objective facts must've been before you started posting on this board.

penchief
05-15-2011, 06:40 PM
That's what you were doing too?

Obviously, I don't believe so. I have watched this trend in real time for thirty years. I'm not some johnny-come-lately ideologue who falls for the bullshit spewed by the Glenn Becks or BEPs of the world.

Also, I said that some conservative arguments have merit. Not exactly a comment by someone who is towing the ideological party line.

The problem is that the right in this country is not exactly conservative anymore. It has pretty much gone off the reservation. The right has become the radical right. And that is not good for this country.

And because of that, we can't even have a realistic debate about what is best for America. Because for the right it's strict adherance to ideological purity or nothing at all. And anything left of their position is extreme no matter how moderate it may be.

banyon
05-15-2011, 06:41 PM
That's what you were doing too?

Is there any way that someone could generally oppose deregulation in your book and not be 'towing the party line"?

Somehow I doubt it.