Gallup: 62% Of Conservative Republicans Against Extending Unemployment Benefits

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Economy, Money, unemployment

Take a look…

I’m sorry, but I literally can not understand the thought process here. They talk about deficit spending until they’re blue in the face, but they favor massive, unpaid tax cuts for the super rich, while wanting to deny unemployment benefits for the people who need it most. Baffling.

Well, okay, not baffling. What I’m guessing is that many in that 62% hear “unemployment” and think people are just lazy. However, in order to get unemployment benefits you have to prove you’re seeking work. Meanwhile, they have no problem with corporations making record profits but not hiring anybody.

Oh, and they’re also forcing people to work longer hours for no more pay…

Nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased at a 2.3 percent annual rate during the third quarter of 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Labor productivity is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of the combined hours worked of all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers. Output increased 3.7 percent and hours worked increased 1.4 percent in the third quarter. (All quarterly percent changes in this release are seasonally adjusted annual rates.) Nonfarm business productivity increased 2.5 percent from the third quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2010, as output increased 4.3 percent and hours worked rose 1.7 percent.

Good times.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 8th, 2010 and is filed under Economy, Money, unemployment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

48 Responses to “Gallup: 62% Of Conservative Republicans Against Extending Unemployment Benefits”

  1. Rich Horton Says:

    Or maybe they are more likely to know about studies like this one – http://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp3016.html – looking at the question “How Do Different Entitlements to Unemployment Benefits Affect the Transitions from Unemployment into Employment?” which discover “…that lower maximum benefit duration is associated with substantially higher quarterly rates of job finding in the range 53 to 106 percent.” That is not someone making a moral judgement on anyone, that is science. One of the troubles today is too many people want to base public policy upon emotions rather than reason.

  2. Tully Says:

    Justin doesn’t care, Rich, he’s busy waving the bloody shirt, trying to demonize the GOP with the extremist position on the UE extension while at the same time distracting attention from the fact that this poll shows CLEAR majority support for extending the tax cuts for everybody [Poll results 66-29 in favor], which was the subject of his last bloody-shirt waving over poll results. That’s almost exactly the same results as for extending the UE benefits [66-30]. As usual, he picks the outlier and exaggerates it to provide the partisan blood for the shirt, despite the non-sequitur connection between what he says he’s puzzled about and the “evidence” he’s waving about.

    Also on Justin’s bad is his apparent ignorance about what the productivity figures mean and thus his claim that the data show people working “longer hours for no more pay”. Um, WRONG. Doesn’t say that anywhere. Says people worked longer hours and productivity was up, and that hourly compensation went UP 2.2%. Translation: People worked longer hours AND got paid slightly more per hour, likely as the result of overtime. More hours and more pay per hour equals GOT PAID MORE, not NO MORE PAY.

    Also in this poll at almost exactly the same range as the tax rate and UE extensions was public support for allowing gays to serve in the military [67-28], which I find quite encouraging as a trend move to the middle. The poll internals are not provided, so there’s no way to cross-tab out the “likely voters” from the entire poll base of “the age 18+ non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households.” Well, at least they’re not polling prisoners and asylum inpatients. But the breakdowns would be interesting.

    All that said, I’d note that any faith in the UE disincentive effect as a major consideration in current conditions is misguided. While the effect is real, it’s probably not even remotely a major factor at the moment. There has to BE available employment for people to avoid accepting it, and that just isn’t the current case. We’re looking at at least 6 or 7 people looking for work for every single job available, maybe more. If I had to take a stab at a quick estimate on how strong the disincentive effect is right now, I’d say that under current conditions it applies to less than 2% of those on UE, and maybe even under 1%. If UE were 4% and wages rising, it’d be a different story.

    But that isn’t what we have right now. So on that one count, Justin’s rant is not misplaced. It’ still totally ignorant lefitism to think that corporations should hire out of the goodness of their hearts just because they have some money, of course. Since corporations have no hearts, that can’t happen. They’ll hire when they need employees.

  3. WHQ Says:

    A side note on the recently clarified and very common misunderstanding: The extension is an extension of the program, not an extension beyond 99 weeks. Some people will be able to collect longer than they otherwise would have had the program expired, but it doesn’t do anything for those who have already reached the maximum number of weeks.

    That aside, the time it takes someone to find another job says nothing about what kind of job he or she finds. When you have, say, a trained electrician stocking shelves, not only is that bad for the electrician, it’s also generally a waste of human capital and a poor utilization of resources.

  4. Trescml Says:

    Actually they should have ended unemployment extension and killed the tax cut for the rich. However, consistency is not good for getting re-elected.

  5. Bubbaquimby Says:

    I am one of those currently unemployed, it really is not hard to collect unemployment. I live in MO too, all I have to do is each week go to a website input the same answers and put that I talked to at least 2 contacts. Every work weeks I go to an employment office and “report” that I am still looking for work. In some ways it’s a joke. I have a friend in WI who is actively not seeking work, all he has to do is the website stuff.

    Now that isn’t to say I am not looking for work, but it’s really hard to prove that I am not. They can technically make me prove which contacts I am talking too, but they’ll never do that.

    Even though I may benefit from extending unemployment I have my doubts about it. Some jobs are just frankly lost forever (manufacturing) and others may take years or even a decade to come back (construction).

    I would rather see more training programs for workers, but I doubt either side (well mostly Republicans) wants that.

  6. Bubbaquimby Says:

    ah, hate no edit; “every four weeks”

  7. Tully Says:

    When you have, say, a trained electrician stocking shelves, not only is that bad for the electrician, it’s also generally a waste of human capital and a poor utilization of resources.

    Worse yet, the electrician is less likely to take that shelf-stocking job before his UE runs out, because it would likely mean a cut in income from his UE benefits. There’s that UE effect in action. But he’s also less likely to be hired for shelf-stocking anyway, because that potential employer knows that as soon as electrician’s jobs are available again, his shelf-stocker is GONE, and replacements will be harder to find because the economy will be picking up and people will be less desparate to take his shitty job. Catch-22.

    For those who haven’t checked out the UE disincentive effect, research shows that those whose UE runs out are much more likely to land a job in the week after UE runs out than in the weeks before. Well, hell, if UE is paying you $375/wk and all you can find open is shelf-stocking jobs paying $290/wk, DUH. You’d have to be an idiot to take work paying less than your UE. I’ve never collected UE in my life, but to voluntarily reduce my income from a sure thing it’d have to be for a job with some damn good potential for advancement. I got family to feed.

    This aspect of UE is what drives the hard-core right crazy, of course. Until they get laid off, of course.

  8. Justin Gardner Says:

    Rich, I seriously doubt anybody besides you, a handful of bloggers and some folks in think tanks are reading economics papers about unemployment insurance in Portugal. That’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think? And as WHQ point out, it does our economy very little good (and perhaps some harm) when somebody can do one job, but they’re forced to do another because they can’t find work in their chosen field.

    Tully, this poll gave them two options. Tax cuts or none. Previous polls have given them three options. All tax cuts, no tax cuts for rich, no tax cuts. There’s no demonization going on here. I continue to not understand their reasoning in these trying economic times. In normal circumstances, sure, I understand the disincentive argument. But you have folks like Jim DeMint saying that the government should give loans instead of payment? Yeah, that’s a good idea. What Americans need know is more debt. And debt owed to the government no less.

    About the “hiring out of the goodness of their heart” that has never been my contention. Productivity skyrockted last year and businesses are seeing the effect of that now in record profits. And that’s the point…if productivity is that high, they actually need employees, but they’re holding off on hiring. We’ve all seen businesses squeeze more work out of their employees when the going is tough…even when they’re doing good. It’s called greed. And greed is good. I’m not saying we change the system, but we both know this is what’s going on.

    About compensation, you’re right that it increased 2.2%, but unit labor costs have dropped -1.9% for the year. That means real wages only increased 0.7% in Q3. And in the durable manufacturing sector, wages dropped -2.5% for the quarter. The message remains the same. Workers are doing more and not getting compensated for it. Still, I’ll revise the post to include this info.

  9. Tillyosu Says:

    Productivity skyrockted last year and businesses are seeing the effect of that now in record profits. And that’s the point…if productivity is that high, they actually need employees, but they’re holding off on hiring

    Justin, I think you’re confusing production with productivity. The fact that productivity is up doesn’t necessarily mean that production is up. It just means that the production process has gotten more efficient. For example, if 6 months ago my demand for 100 widgets could be met by 10 workers, and now that very same demand could be met by 8 workers, then productivity has gone up, and I actually need less workers. However, if productivity has remained static, and demand has gone up (say, I need 150 widgets now instead of 100) then I will need more workers (unless I can find a way to increase productivity). So you see, the inverse of your claim is generally true.

    But this raises a larger point, if I CAN squeeze more efficiency out of my workers, should I? The answer, like it or not, is yes. And it’s not because I hate workers or I’m greedy, it’s because if I don’t, everybody loses.

    Think about it this way. I could, theoretically, hire 100 workers to meet my demand for 100 widgets. But these workers have to be paid, and where is that money going to come from? Option 1: we just make the widgets more expensive. But if we do that, nobody will buy our widgets, we will go out of business, and everybody gets fired. Okay, not so good. Option 2: we could just return less profits to our investors. They’re rich, they can take it, right? Well if we do that, our investors will probably stop financing our operations, pull their money and put it into something more profitable (say, our Chinese widget competitors). Funds dry up, we go out of business, everybody gets fired. Also not so good. Option 3: well why don’t we just reduce compensation to the greedy CEO CFO COO, etc? Well if we do that, then there’s a chance that those executives will move to other companies, and we’ll be forced to replace them with less qualified executives. Operating efficiency and product quality will probably suffer, our market share will decline, and eventually…we go out of business, everybody gets fired. Not good.

    The fact is, it’s the responsibility of managers to increase productivity whenever they can. Not doing so would be negligent. And at the end of the day, they realize that having 10 employed widget workers is better than having none at all.

  10. Rich Horton Says:

    C’mon Justin. Its simply an example. That paper lists over a dozen other references in the notes of other studies that find the same affect, in numerous countries. Even Krugman doesn’t dispute the validity of these studies.

    And you can forgive me if I dont worry too much about people not maximizing the efficiency of their training. Of everyone I went to grad school with only a couple are actually doing the job they are “best trained” for, teaching undergraduates. Everyone else had to find something else to do. (Including yours turly who managed a bookstore and worked in a lumberyard for a time.) But thats the real world. But you know what? They are all damn smart people who are a benefit for the various employers they work for. And I’m positive it is a net benefit for society to have smart people doing good work even if the job they are doing wasn’t their first (or 2nd or 3rd) choice.

  11. WHQ Says:

    And I’m positive it is a net benefit for society to have smart people doing good work even if the job they are doing wasn’t their first (or 2nd or 3rd) choice.

    I don’t doubt that, but it’s beside the point. What I was talking about was someone taking a job that gained little to no value from that person’s talents or skills or experience. Going to grad school isn’t the same as having gained very specific expertise either through training and/or years of work experience after finishing school.

    Sure, it’s going to happen sometimes no matter what that people don’t get their most preferred form(s) of employment, and sometimes it’s going to work out when it does happen anyway. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about people taking crappy jobs when they’re qualified for something much better only because their unemployment ran out before they could get jobs that fit their skill sets, skill sets that may have taken them years of training and experience to develop. That’s not good, and it’s something that isn’t considered by the simplistic measure of how long it takes people to find work given the duration of unemployment benefits.

  12. Tully Says:

    Better re-read what I had to say on the UE disincentive effect, Justin. I was crystal clear in saying at length I thought it was extremely minimal right now, and the UE extensions are a Good Idea in current conditions. Straw man someone else with that, please.

    But you don’t read that closely. You just pick what fits your desired conclusion/rant and go with it and discard the rest, as you do with polls. For example, the ignorance on what productivity increases mean. They don’t mean you need more employees. They mean you’re doing more with what you have. Not until productivity starts to fall are you getting indications that either more labor or more capital equipment is needed.

    Ditto selective shallow reading with labor costs — you pick one sector (mfg) that is a small part of the whole and claim it makes your point while ignoring all the other sectors that clearly go against your preferred claim, and without checking why the dropped sector went down, when the data do NOT provide the detail (“granularity”) to support your claim, and when there are alternate possible reasons that are just as likely, if not more so. (Hint: layoffs are still occurring, as are early retirements and buyouts — the latter two items in particular lower overall unit cost of labor, as the most “expensive” labor-cost employees lead the pack in early retirements and buyouts.)

    Once again, business is not in business to hire people for the hell of it. They hire them when they need to, to make money, not just because they might have some money handy. With today’s regulatory/taxation rumbles (and realities) coming from Washington, no one wants to commit to more labor overhead burden, or hard-goods investment, when there’s no assurance of any future profitable utilization of same. To use a mangled metaphor, they can still hear depth charges, they don’t believe the submarine has truly surfaced much less done so in safe waters, and they’re not opening the hatches to find out. The downside of being wrong is too great.

    For that matter, those “record corporate profits” you keep going on about? What I said about you not reading very deeply applies there too. Those record profits are pretty much confined (75%!) to the financial sector, the result of preferred treatment from the government in the bailouts, the bailout funding itself, and the massive quant easing of the Fed.

    US-based multi-nationals are doing OK with overseas profits as well, but that’s because (DUH) it is more profitable for them to do business overseas than here, especially with QE2 and dollar deflation. But domestic profits of non-financial businesses? Suck. Manufacturing is still hurting. Service is still hurting. Bankers are doing fine with all the government assistance (and they too get a boost from QE2 and dollar deflation) as they almost always do. But businesses who make things in America? Not so much.

    Now, if you want to rail about Wall Street, I’d probably have a lot more sympathy. Especially about the way Wall St seems to own Congress regardless of who’s got majorities.

  13. Rich Horton Says:

    And all of those people who worked for the better part of a decade benefitting from a bubble housing market? That is probably millions of people in everything from the building trades, to realtors, to mortgage and title “specialists”, etc. who are going to have to find something else to do. Does it suck for them? Oh, absolutely. But living on benefits and waiting for housing to come back to where it was is not a viable strategy. The sooner they face that fact the better it will be for them and their family. I’m not blaming them for this. Its human nature to follow the path of least resistance. And when you have one side of the debate claiming it is almost monsterous to even think about placing ANY limit on benefits, well the path of least resistance becomes easier to accept.

    Of course those Republican monsters are the same ones who voted for benefit extensions in 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2008 (not to mention seperate extensions for airline employees after 9/11 and those affect by Katrina.)

  14. Justin Gardner Says:

    Rich, yes, exactly…it’s one example. It’s certainly not proof. It’s one look into one situation. It also doesn’t take into account the insane recession we’re pulling ourselves out of.

    Tully, you should reread. I wasn’t disagreeing with you on the UE stuff. I was disagreeing with you about chiding me for “ignoring” the tax cut polling and focusing on the UE numbers. Why did I do that? This poll was different than others with regards to tax cuts (2 choices instead of 3) and since I’ve already reported on that in the past it didn’t seem relevant. Read the title of the post. We’re not talking about tax cuts.

    As far as cherry picking…jeezus…we all have day jobs. You want me to go down your comment point by point by point? Sorry, it isn’t going to happen. Some of what you said I agreed with. We obviously agree on the value of extending UE in the near term. Did I feel the need to say that? No.

    Last, yes, I agree that if I did a very deep dive into the numbers I may come to another conclusion or amend my current one. That’s always the case. But even when you have presented data in the past and told me I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve been able to find data that makes yours look wrong. So this charge that you throw at me constantly (only looking for the facts that support my argument) …well, right back at ya. Because if I’m able to find data that you haven’t seen or have just ignored, what does that say? It says the obvious…there aren’t enough hours in the day to be exhaustive, so please stop acting as if I can…or ANYBODY can. I see these numbers, I pull from other sources and I write a post. Yes, I have a point of view. Yes, that colors what I write. News flash…I’m not a journalist. Yes, sometimes my assumptions aren’t correct, but the vast majority of the time it’s not about numbers…it’s about political philosophy and where we are in our lifecycle. The numbers we’ve seen over the past two years suggest that corporations could be doing more. Is employment going up in the banking sector? If yes, great! They’re putting those profits to good use. And yes, good use by my definition. I don’t think massive bonuses are a good use of those profits…right now. Again, there’s that point of view thing…which is largely colored by where we are at this particular point in history. I’m a blogger. I have opinions. Keep sniping at me for it, but it’s not going to stop.

  15. Tully Says:

    yes, exactly…it’s one example. It’s certainly not proof. It’s one look into one situation

    QED. It’s consistent with ALL the research into the UE effect, which is about as good as proof gets. The effect is real, even if it’s not all that relevant under current conditions. (Right-wing moralists disagree, of course. That electrician is supposed to shovel out stables at minimum wage rather than cash those higher UE checks! Heh. Not in this universe, he won’t. Especially not if he has dependents.)

    Heard an interview with DeMint today — he supports the UE extension, he just wants to fund it from other sources than debt. Namely unexpended “stimulus” funds. Well, you can’t always get what you want. (And DeMint won’t, unless the House punts this to the next Congress, where all bets are off.) Did he really make the “loan” suggestion? Well, they sure do play to their wingers, don’t they?

    Difference between us is I look for the relevant numbers, know what they are, and examine them systematically, not with any pre-determined “conclusion” in mind. In the real world I get paid for being impartial and accurate doing such things, so it’s not a hardship, I’m looking at all that research anyway for various reasons. “Analysts” who will tell clients whatever they want to hear and provide pre-determined conclusions on demand are much easier to find.

    The numbers we’ve seen over the past two years suggest that corporations could be doing more.

    Maybe they could, but why should they? Corps are heartless soulless fictional people that do things in their own self-interests and those of their controlling management and for little other reason. “Could” is not “should,” much less “will.” The numbers are NOT saying that now is a great time for corps to hire people and buy lots of new production equipment and ramp up output just because they could, which is what you explicitly want them to do and are demonizing them for not doing. Hell, I could donate all my possessions to the Salvation Army, live in a monastery, and let my family starve. So could you. But there are excellent reasons that’s not going to happen, no? So why do you expect demand heartless soulless fictional people behave any differently than us?

    I’m a blogger … it’s not going to stop.

    Boy, I sure hope not! What fun would that be? For either of us? :-D

  16. Justin Gardner Says:

    The effect is real, even if it’s not all that relevant under current conditions.

    I don’t disagree. But my point has always been that we’re in a unique time right now and ideology is getting in the way of progress. And that’s on both sides. In this case, I can’t understand why conservatives don’t get why getting rid of UE is a bad idea. And so I draw a conclusion that they’ve been programmed to opposed it.

    Did he really make the “loan” suggestion? Well, they sure do play to their wingers, don’t they?

    Yep. Demint said it…

    From Yahoo:

    “Frankly, most of us who ran this election said we were not going to vote for anything that increased the deficit. This does. It raises taxes. It raises the death tax. I don’t think we need to negotiate that aspect of this thing away,” DeMint said.

    DeMint also made it clear Congress can’t extend unemployment benefits without turning that decision into a loan. DeMint stipulated America doesn’t need a temporary economy, it needs a permanent one, therefore tax rates need to be set in stone for many years in advance so businesses can plan ahead.

    So yes, he is proposing something that nutty. But hey, whatevs. It’s a brave new tea soaked world.

    To this point…Difference between us is I look for the relevant numbers, know what they are, and examine them systematically, not with any pre-determined “conclusion” in mind. In the real world I get paid for being impartial and accurate doing such things, so it’s not a hardship, I’m looking at all that research anyway for various reasons. “Analysts” who will tell clients whatever they want to hear and provide pre-determined conclusions on demand are much easier to find.

    I look at relevant numbers too. This post being an example of that. If conservatives didn’t oppose UE, this post wouldn’t exist. I’m sure you’ll say I have a bias against conservatives, but that’s not the case. I don’t understand why conservatives think this way. As you know, I’ve reported on bad numbers for Dems too. Also, I take issue with you saying I’m demonizing Republicans by just reporting the numbers and adding my opinion with it. Again, I’m not an analyst, nor a journalist. And if I was, I’d take a much more objective approach to it. The point to this blog is to not act like a bomb thrower. I think I do a good job of that. But I’m not you. Don’t expect me to be you. That’s not my job.

    And this… The numbers are NOT saying that now is a great time for corps to hire people and buy lots of new production equipment and ramp up output just because they could, which is what you explicitly want them to do and are demonizing them for not doing.

    Again, this demonizing nonsense. Am I saying corporations are evil? That they should be forced to do these things I’m proposing? No. Yes, I’m asking. It’s not a demand. Forgive me if I think that those companies that are experiencing record profits should be hiring instead of passing the lion’s share along to their stockholders. Especially when reinvesting in America (hiring) is in their own self interest.

    Boy, I sure hope not! What fun would that be? For either of us? :-D

    Fair enough. But please…cool it with the red flag, demonization nonsense. I have an opinion. Accept that reality.

  17. JimS Says:

    It wouldn’t be so bad that they weren’t hiring if they weren’t also opposing creating a safety net for those people who can’t get jobs because they aren’t hiring because they don’t want to pay the taxes the safety net would require. I still remain convinced that the current global business environment is creating a high structural rate of unemployment that many people just don’t want to admit to and therefore can’t deal with.

  18. WHQ Says:

    I’m sure you’ll say I have a bias against conservatives, but that’s not the case.

    It’s okay to have such a bias, so long as it’s justified. I have a bias against touching really hot things, and it helps me avoid injury.

  19. kranky kritter Says:

    But even when you have presented data in the past and told me I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ve been able to find data that makes yours look wrong. So this charge that you throw at me constantly (only looking for the facts that support my argument) …well, right back at ya. Because if I’m able to find data that you haven’t seen or have just ignored, what does that say? It says the obvious…

    It does say the obvious. That what you generally do in such instances is to search exclusively for any evidence that helps you refute something you’d prefer not to agree this. That’s the definition of weak-sense critical thinking.

    And your excuse is that it’s, I dunno, all you have time for. A person either has a comprehensive grasp of the existing scholarship and study, or they don’t.

    Andf hey, there’s nothing really wrong with THAT part, the “no one has time to become an expert on everything” part. We can’t all study and grasp everything, can we? Rational ignorance is necessary. Where it all goes wrong is when we stick to our guns based on crappy excuses for dismissing the insights of people who are probably better informed than we are.

    I’m not even saying Tully is right about anything he’s saying here, But I’m pretty sure he’s much better informed than I am. My minimum mileage in such instances is to try to acknowledge that I lack anything resembling the expertise needed required to refute what he’s saying.

    And like I was saying elsewhere to Chris, I think we all need to avoid that cycle of using weak excuses (like “you can’t be certain”) to dismiss the contentions of someone who is much better informed on a topic, and then retrenching to our unchanged hardened presumptions.

    Either we hold our contentions about the world in a way that they are open to correction based on additional data, or we don’t. If we don’t, our contentions have become faith-based. There’s really no way around that.

  20. kranky kritter Says:

    Again, this demonizing nonsense. Am I saying corporations are evil? That they should be forced to do these things I’m proposing? No. Yes, I’m asking. It’s not a demand. Forgive me if I think that those companies that are experiencing record profits should be hiring instead of passing the lion’s share along to their stockholders. Especially when reinvesting in America (hiring) is in their own self interest.

    Justin, you have a well-established pattern of highlighting those aspects of conservatism and conservatives that show them in the worst light, and of supplying rationalizations and excuses for liberals. That’s indisputable, so you don’t really have any grounds for complaining when folks who don’t like it call you on it. You sb used it by now, yeah?

    As to your views on corporations and your advice to them? Suffice it to say that I think they’re at best a naive waste of time, although I am sure them have some donklephant brand value.

    For better or worse, publicly traded corporations perform as they are designed. To compete, and to make profits for shareholding owners. When well-meaning corporate reforms make a company less competitive, shareholders vote with their feet. For anyone sane, that makes the “problem of corporations” a “we have seen the enemy and he is us” problem.

    It’s not that I think your noble calls upon corporations to be better for the people are wrong-hearted. It’s merely that I think they are grossly unrealistic. Preposterous really. You might as well issue a serious and straight-faced call for unicorns to finally begin farting rainbows.

    You remain serious about what you think corporations should do, but you dance away like a pussywillow at the first demand that you connect the dots and explain how they could do so without taking actions that owners (shareholders) would punish them for… . The officers of corporations take vows which dictate their priorities and constrain their actions. In some cases, you may even be asking corporate officers to breach their pledged duties.

    Its only privately held (and perhaps one-shareholder dominated public) companies that have the real freedom to sacrifice competitiveness and take unrealistic risks for the good of unemployed workers.

  21. Tillyosu Says:

    Forgive me if I think that those companies that are experiencing record profits should be hiring instead of passing the lion’s share along to their stockholders

    Justin the stockholders own the company. The profits belong to them. When they need more workers, they will hire more workers. But do you really expect them to piss their investment away hiring people to stand around and do nothing?

    Labor is a function of demand. When companies hire workers, it’s because it is profitable to do so. And don’t give me that garbage about “investing in America”. Hiring workers so you can pay them to stand around and then go spend money is not a viable corporate strategy. And if you pitched that to any corporate board you’d be fired.

  22. Tillyosu Says:

    Isn’t the bigger story here that Obama, by agreeing to the extension of this tax cut, and by saying yesterday that the deal would “spur our private sector to create millions of new jobs, and add momentum that our economy badly needs” has tacitly confirmed the conservative argument that tax cuts do lead to economic growth? I mean, Robert Reich seems to think so.

    The fact that Obama, once hero of the left, has confirmed the conservative economic argument, after his grand Keynesian experiment failed, is nothing short of historic.

  23. WHQ Says:

    If I were to place myself on a “side” (for lack of a better way of putting it) on this blog, it would be on the liberal side. And I share Justin’s “raw sentiment” (for another lack of a better way of putting it), so I don’t want to sound like I’m piling on, because I’m generally on your side, Justin. But it’s pointless to think corporations are going to hire people either out of the goodness of their hearts and for the sake of the nation, or because it will be good for them in the long run if every other corporation were to do the same.

    I’m personally not going to go out and spend money with the idea in mind that, if everyone else does it, the economy will improve, labor markets will tighten, my job will be more secure and I’ll make more money.

    Whether you’re requesting or demanding that companies hire, for any reason other than that they think they need to for profit-based business purposes, it remains pointless.

    Call them greedy pigs. I’d probably agree. But, if they’re greedy pigs, they’re greedy pigs, and they aren’t going to hire people unless they think it’s in their economic interest to do so. There’s no law against it, and I don’t see how there could be. You can say, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” about a lot of things, and this is one, but it doesn’t really get you anywhere.

  24. WHQ Says:

    …has tacitly confirmed the conservative argument that tax cuts do lead to economic growth?

    I didn’t know that this was ever in dispute, or that this was the whole of the “conservative argument.” (Well, if “economic growth” is used generally to mean more growth or less contraction than there otherwise would have been.)

    I think what’s always been in dispute was the idea that tax cuts lead to enough economic growth to pay for themselves, or, at the very least, what range of conditions under which that will happen.

    What’s also been in dispute at times is whether the resultant economic growth is worth forgoing the revenue, even when conservatives admit that the cuts won’t pay for themselves and revenue will go down.

    …after his grand Keynesian experiment failed…

    On the “his” part, well, not exactly. Others had input which may have affected the outcome. Whether that outcome can be characterized as “failure” is also disputable.

  25. Tillyosu Says:

    On the “his” part, well, not exactly. Others had input which may have affected the outcome

    Really? I wonder if you made that same argument when it came to George Bush and the Iraq war. The Stimulus is Obama’s baby. He sold it, he passed it, and he owns it.

    Whether that outcome can be characterized as “failure” is also disputable.

    Is it? Because the Federal Reserve Bank of San Fransisco just did a complete analysis of the Stimulus, and they concluded that it was a failure. e21 has a recap. Money quote:

    The results suggest that though the program did result in 2 million jobs “created or saved” by March 2010, net job creation was statistically indistinguishable from zero by August of this year. Taken at face value, this would suggest that the stimulus program (with an overall cost of $814 billion) worked only to generate temporary jobs at a cost of over $400,000 per worker. Even if the stimulus had in fact generated this level of employment as a durable outcome, it would still have been an extremely expensive way to generate employment.

    Ya, I think that debate is pretty much over.

  26. WHQ Says:

    Ya, I think that debate is pretty much over.

    You might, but your source doesn’t:

    The results of this one study should not be seen as definitive. As Wilson emphasizes, the results only apply to the variation caused by additional state-level spending. It is possible that the stimulus did generate a certain level of base employment growth to all states — or that the stimulus “crowded out” private investment on a nation-wide basis.

    It is also difficult to determine the counterfactual employment growth that would have resulted in the absence of the fiscal stimulus law. To address this issue, Wilson includes other variables predictive of future employment growth. However, it is possible that employment would indeed have been worse in all states without a stimulus. It is also possible that employment would have been better than projected — for instance, if the Fed or Treasury had responded to higher unemployment through their own interventions.

  27. WHQ Says:

    I wonder if you made that same argument when it came to George Bush and the Iraq war.

    Not that it’s at all relevant, but I didn’t. There was plenty of blame to go around. And congressional Democrats deserved some of it, BTW.

  28. Chris Says:

    “Now, Republicans have a different view. They believe that we should also make permanent the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans. I completely disagree with this. A permanent extension of these tax cuts would cost us $700 billion at a time when we need to start focusing on bringing down our deficit. And economists from all across the political spectrum agree that giving tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires does very little to actually grow our economy.”
    from Tilly’s link.

  29. mdgeorge Says:

    So many have clearly pointed out that no, corporations are not going to hire for the halibut, and that Justin should stop asking why not. Fair enough. Does this mean it’s time for us as a society to find another (non-corporation based) way to employ people? Or are the unemployed just fucked?

  30. Justin Gardner Says:

    Justin, you have a well-established pattern of highlighting those aspects of conservatism and conservatives that show them in the worst light, and of supplying rationalizations and excuses for liberals. That’s indisputable, so you don’t really have any grounds for complaining when folks who don’t like it call you on it. You sb used it by now, yeah?

    BS. When compared to nearly every other political blog on the planet, I have a record of being very fair to both sides and providing a platform that, when looked at as a whole, is very fair.

    Sure, as a moderate Dem, of course I point out things that stand out to me about conservative ideology that doesn’t make sense to me. But point me to blogs of this stature that are more fair and I will emulate them. Genuinely. I’m not above growing and changing.

    To WHQ’s point…

    I’m personally not going to go out and spend money with the idea in mind that, if everyone else does it, the economy will improve, labor markets will tighten, my job will be more secure and I’ll make more money.

    Whether you’re requesting or demanding that companies hire, for any reason other than that they think they need to for profit-based business purposes, it remains pointless.

    I don’t disagree in the slightest. Tully was referencing a post I recently wrote addressing corporations hefty profits that I linked to in this one. I have no illusions that they’ll start hiring just “because.”

    My point in that post and this one was that if you’re seeing record profits…please start hiring!

    It doesn’t make any sense that we’re seeing such an uptick in productivity and profits and not seeing hiring match it. As always, I’m for a “free” market system and I’d never advocate government sanctioned hiring practices.

    But if corps are making record profits because they’re squeezing more hours out of their employees…that’s not right. If not, hey, my bad, but that’s how it looks from the numbers I’m seeing and nothing Tully or kranky has been able to supply convinces me to the contrary.

    So there it is. Tully and kranky accusing me of being a liberal shill, when I have a record of over 5 years of being anything but when compared to every other political blog in existence.

    I’ll sleep soundly tonight. :-)

  31. kranky kritter Says:

    My point in that post and this one was that if you’re seeing record profits…please start hiring!

    It doesn’t make any sense that we’re seeing such an uptick in productivity and profits and not seeing hiring match it.

    Right. And the critical response has been that this shows that you really don’t understand how or why corporations behave as they do, and as they’ve been designed to do. We understood what you said the first time. No need to repeat yourself.

    So there it is. Tully and kranky accusing me of being a liberal shill, when I have a record of over 5 years of being anything but when compared to every other political blog in existence.

    That’s preposterous. I didn’t call you a shill. I said you have a well established record of frequently highlighting things that cast conservatives in a very poor light, and a spotty to nonexistent record of doing so with comparable liberal figures or groups. This is quite easily demonstrable. For example, I’d be willing to guess that the last 20 times you cited the results of a poll as support for a post, it highlighted something bad about conservatives 19 of those 20 times. You say you have a record of not being biased, but clearly you don’t do any sort of accounting.

    Another example: you know I have almost nothing decent to say about Sara Palin or Glenn Beck, but how many Beck or Palin bashing posts have you been unable to refrain from over the past 2 years? 20?40?60? 100? Have you bashed any kooky liberal figure more than once or twice during your blog’s entire existence?

    I don’t know what you think you mean when you say “compared to every other political blog.” I am happy to go right ahead and acknowledge that you are substantially less biased than any garden variety red-meat partisan democratic blog. And I’m just as happy to say that you should be a little embarrassed to pat yourself on the back for that.

  32. kranky kritter Says:

    So many have clearly pointed out that no, corporations are not going to hire for the halibut, and that Justin should stop asking why not. Fair enough. Does this mean it’s time for us as a society to find another (non-corporation based) way to employ people? Or are the unemployed just fucked?

    Unless we change the laws, no one has a right to be employed by someone else. So unless you’re self-employed, have your own business, or have seniority protection at a government job or in a stable unionized industry, then you are to some extent at the mercy of the vagaries of various economic markets. This is NOT something new.

    If you’re asking whether many Americans are going to have to come to grips with the idea of lowered expectations for their futures, I think the answer is quite possibly yes.

    That makes many folks VERY angry. So they want to find other folks to blame and then to punish. Maybe these folks will be successful in finding folks to blame. Maybe they will also be successful in punishing these folks. And maybe some of those folks will even deserve their punishment.

    But will any of that by itself actually improve the economic lot of the angry punishers? IMO, for the most part the answer is no, it won’t. What will improve America’s lot will be to produce more and consume less. No one wants to hear that.

  33. theWord Says:

    @Kranky
    You and Tully have been flogging the same dead horse that everything is the same and there are no distinctions to be made for a couple of years at least. You then feel superior to anyone who says that there are differences. I believe that tolerating bad behavior is what allows truly egregious behavior to flourish.

    I have no issue with holding everyone to the same standard, your standard is that there is no objective standard.But… Glenn Beck and Palin are different. Hell they must be if even you can notice.

    Justin has never said that he is anything but a moderate Democrat. He’s honest. I prefer that to delusion. Especially when IMO your thinking feeds the fire.

  34. kranky kritter Says:

    You and Tully have been flogging the same dead horse that everything is the same and there are no distinctions to be made for a couple of years at least. You then feel superior to anyone who says that there are differences.

    Riiiiiiiiiiight. That’s exactly our position.

    Grossly distorting someone else’s views and then refuting that nonexistent version of their views is such a fun game, isn’t it,word?

    I have no issue with holding everyone to the same standard,

    That’s precisely what you have an issue with.

    your standard is that there is no objective standard.But… Glenn Beck and Palin are different. Hell they must be if even you can notice.

    For, bloggers, the scorecard is thatyou are what you blog about. As I have made crystal clear many times, I have virtually no quarrel with the content of anti-Beck or anti-Palin criticism here. They’re part of the problem. Just as you are when you reliably leap to their bait.

    The volume of such criticism here, and the lack of any volume about the other side is objective proof of what things Justin obsesses about versus which things he pays no attention to. My mileage is that this is evidence of noticeable slant.

    And your mileage is that this suggests nothing about Justin’s slant, and is due only to the demonstrable ongoing ill-intent of Republicans and conservatives. That’s the sum total of every one of you guys’ arguments on this topic: “we’re not slanted, we’re right.”

    For the record, this argument of yours is just about the shittiest argument ever. Also for the record, don’t think for a second that I repeatedly belabor my points on this subject because I think you’ll evolve your views. You won’t. You’re running on faith, and have been for some time now.

    If you want to continue to obsess about the views of the hardcore conservative right wing, be my guest. But know that when you do, you just help them consume the available oxygen. Also know that the adults think this partisan war is childish and pointless.

  35. Chris Says:

    “Also for the record, don’t think for a second that I repeatedly belabor my points on this subject because I think you’ll evolve your views. You won’t. You’re running on faith, and have been for some time now.”

    What’s the point of all the lecturing then, besides that you like to hear yourself talk?

  36. kranky kritter Says:

    Data suggests that 90% of blog readers are lurkers. They read, but don’t post. Folks may be reading these exchanges and making their minds up about who is making more sense.

    If I have ever helped even one person to adopt sensible standards for critical thinking instead of being a typical weak-sense critical thinker like you, it’s worth it.

  37. Chris Says:

    ahaha KK, your holier than thou crap is getting old, maybe you should just start cutting and pasting. You type a lot, but convey little meaning.

  38. Chris Says:

    In 1914 Ford Motor Co founder Henry Ford had instituted a daily wage of $5 for workers — more than doubling their wages — to reduce turnover and enable workers to afford the cars they made.

    In his 1922 book “My Life and Work” Ford, who was staunchly anti-union, dismissed the notion this was an act of charity. “We wanted to pay these wages so that the business would be on a lasting foundation,” he wrote. “A low wage business is always insecure.”

    -from an interesting article I read today. It’s too bad that businesses these days don’t feel the same way.

  39. kranky kritter Says:

    Good one, Chris! Insult when you can’t refute. Chrisology 101.

  40. WHQ Says:

    What’s the point of all the lecturing then, besides that you like to hear yourself talk?

    That’s an ironic thing to write on a blog. ;)

    The volume of such criticism here, and the lack of any volume about the other side is objective proof of what things Justin obsesses about versus which things he pays no attention to. My mileage is that this is evidence of noticeable slant.

    And your mileage is that this suggests nothing about Justin’s slant, and is due only to the demonstrable ongoing ill-intent of Republicans and conservatives. That’s the sum total of every one of you guys’ arguments on this topic: “we’re not slanted, we’re right.”

    Did you mean “we’re not slanted, we’re left”? (Don’t hurt yourself laughing.)

    At any rate, this could make for the start of an interesting meta-discussion on the nature of slant (or bias).

    I’ve participated in discussions (or arguments) with KK before about the notion that both sides are equally bad (possibly implying that the right answers necessarily lie somewhere in the middle of opposing opinions on given questions). I don’t want to present that as a strawman of KK’s position on some given question, or in general, but it’s something I sometimes perceive, rightly or wrongly, as underlying his thinking.

    I’d also suggest that it’s tautological to say that people think they’re right, whether they agree the vast majority of the time with those on either the right or the left (or not – maybe they try too hard to be in the middle), because people wouldn’t think what they think if they didn’t think they were right, right? (Duh.)

    What I think is important is that people argue in good faith. It’s possible to be strongly liberal or strongly conservative in good faith. It’s also possible that people will make any argument that supports whatever talking point they are handed by prominent thinkers on “their side” regardless of whether or not they’ve fully considered the argument they’re making or whether or not they even really believe it themselves. It can be a matter of “I know this is total bullshit, but people will buy it, so I’m going to run with it.” So I think it’s important to separate good faith, even good-faith bias, from bad-faith partisanship.

    So, while I’m engaging in this meta-discussion, I’m going to suggest, with no sense of irony, that it’s best of avoid meta-discussions of the form “You always say stuff like this or that” when considering a specific issue, and that sticking to the specifics of the arguments – the ones people here are actually making, rather than the ones other unnamed people, perceived to be on the political “side” of the person you are actually communicating with, might make. This way, you can say, “I don’t buy what you’re saying because of [insert specific relevant point]” rather than, “You’re jerk who always says junk like this.” (Whether that’s done in more civil-sounding terms or not, it has the same result: People stop listening to each other.)

    P.S. I may be telling people what they already know here, so I hope I don’t come off as being too preachy. Then again, even if you already know something, sometimes it doesn’t hurt to be reminded.

  41. WHQ Says:

    I should also add that I don’t consider myself some paragon of the virtues I espouse. I fail, often. (Ha! The second word in my captcha was “virtuous.”)

  42. Chris Says:

    KK that wasn’t an insult – you’re a douche. That’s an insult.

  43. kranky kritter Says:

    I agree about trying to have discussions in good faith. No discussion can be worthwhile for the participants without it.

    And I’m happy to echo whq in that I also don’t consider myself a particular paragon of the virtues I espouse. Can any of us really do better than to make a good faith effort to practice whatever we preach, even though we know we’ll fail from time to time.

    Robin Hanson has a very useful list at his blog Overcoming Bias. It concerns the kinds of behavior that is seen when an individual voices opinions to signal ability or loyalty, instead of as part of a good faith effort to estimate truth. It can be found here and a discussion of it can be found at my blog here.

    Here are a few:

    • You are uncomfortable taking a position of high uncertainty about who is right.

    • You find it easy to conclude that those who disagree with you are insincere or stupid.

    • You are reluctant to change your publicly stated positions in response to new info.

    I encourage folks to read Hanson’s whole list. Critical Thinking 101. Good stuff.

  44. kranky kritter Says:

    I’ve participated in discussions (or arguments) with KK before about the notion that both sides are equally bad (possibly implying that the right answers necessarily lie somewhere in the middle of opposing opinions on given questions). I don’t want to present that as a strawman of KK’s position on some given question, or in general, but it’s something I sometimes perceive, rightly or wrongly, as underlying his thinking.

    My views have been restated as such so many times. It’s not entirely inaccurate, but it’s both a simplification and something which ignores a point that I consider more important.

    I surely do believe that more often than not each side has some useful insight, which does imply that “the truth is somewhere in the middle.” With an emphasis on “somewhere.” In between probably, halfway i between, probably not.

    I’m a big fan of thesis-antithesis-synthesis, and make no apologies for it. And I have to ask, if one side is sure the other side has no useful insight to offer, what’s the difference between that and “bad faith?”

    But the part about “equally bad” is the one that feels like it misses the larger point. Which is that I think that any argument about which side is worse is mostly pointless, and ends up in the same place. So I feel that political discussors are well-served to avoid falling into the trap of discussing issues in the context of which side is less bad. Tully calls this comparative political demonology, CPD, and I’m as convinced as he is that CPD is an all heat, no light phenomenon.

    Of course, if you buy into trying to avoid the CPD trap, and encouraging others to do so, you do end up stuck with a certain feel when posting. Which is that others feel you are saying that each side is equally bad.

    I’m really not saying that each side is equally bad. I’m saying that any such debate is not useful or interesting. Been there, done that. Endless airing of grievances and boogeymen.

    My experience tells me that when one avoids getting caught up in which side is worse, new and interesting things come to light. For one, a very large portion of what passes for popular political debate and discussion in the media seems quite farcical. A big phony show for the sake of the great unwashed. With both parties singing and dancing furiously.

    I can happily accept being called a long-winded douche from time to time due to my habit of doggedly insisting that there’s a TON of utility in avoiding CPD, that doing so helps you begin the see behind the curtains. Generally such name-calling comes from someone who is utterly unwilling to try it. No one who hasn’t seriously tried it has any real idea whether it bears any fruit, leads to any insight.

  45. WHQ Says:

    kranky, you are so full of it! I can’t believe you can write this stuff and actually believe it. WTF?

    Well, not really… I was just trying to get your attention with that lead-in showing on the sidebar so I could ask if you’ve tried the (new?) Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA. It’s good, fairly potent stuff. I recommend it, if you haven’t already had it. I saw it for the first time yesterday and bought a six to celebrate that astounding Eagles victory. I now see no need for the Winter Lager during the holidays.

  46. kranky kritter Says:

    Yeah I have 3 of the 48 longitude IPAs left in the fridge, and plan to quaff a couple tonight or next with something from my shipment of holiday cigars that just came. Don’t tell my wife. :-) A soak in the hot tub under flurries, an IPA with maybe a bourbon chaser, and not sure which rat I’ll be firing up.

    I do find the IPA 48′s have a pretty potent hops kick. And I have quite enjoyed them. I do have to say though, and maybe you would have guessed this: I like the noble pils better, because it has that really clean finish that the IPA 48 doesn’t. The final note of the IPA 48 is not my favorite, and the noble pils just doesn’t have any last note. You get hops punch, and then nothing. I bet that’s hard to do.

    Did you end up trying it? I stocked up on noble pils so it lasted me into summer, and then I shifted over to Sierra Nevada IPA after trying a couple of craft brands that promised hops kick but didn’t deliver.

    Have you caught any of that Brewmaster’s show on Discovery, which follows dogfish head brewery’s attempts to make unusual beer? It’s worth a watch but it’s padded out with a lot of fake drama and road tripping that I don’t really care about that much.

    That’s the thing about the discovery channel, if I was editing, each hour long episode would be like 10 or 15 minutes long tops. I’m a content guy when it comes to nonfiction.

    I was glad to see that Sam Adams IPA because this time of year is usually polluted with beers that include the usual baking spices like cinnamon, clove etc. Whatever. I just don’t really want my beer to taste like carrot cake.

    I might try out some stouts now that the weather has turned truly cold. Although I have to say that I’ll probably end up disappointed again, and back with a nice 4-pack of guinness.

    Any recommendations?

    Man, that was a true garrison comeback by the Eagles, I picked up Vick for my fantasy team last fall when I saw how good he was playing in that same game that Kevin Kolb got hurt in. He carried the Zombie Strippers into the playoffs. Phillies look real strong, too. That’s a sick rotation. You don’t like baseball though, right?

  47. WHQ Says:

    Did you end up trying it?

    No – not recently, anyway. I think I’ve had it at one point or another, but I don’t remember it. I’ll be sure to grab some when the weather starts to get warm again. You were right about that pear cider, so you’ve established your bona fides.

    Have you caught any of that Brewmaster’s show on Discovery, which follows dogfish head brewery’s attempts to make unusual beer?

    No, but I plan to. A friend of mine told me about it. I’ll probably have to DVR it or catch it on On Demand if it’s available. I like Dogfish Head’s stuff. It’s highly available where I live, being brewed about 40 miles away (guessing). I like high-alcohol beers, and they make them.

    Those real-time documentary/reality shows all seem to have that same style of manufactured drama, whether it’s a matter of contriving situations or overblowing not-very-dramatic circumstances with editing and music. Thank you, MTV’s Real World for inventing that.

    I just don’t really want my beer to taste like carrot cake.

    I feel you.

    Any recommendations?

    If you want to stick to traditional, dry, Irish stouts, I find Murphy’s to be a bit creamier and more flavorful than Guiness, though I still love Guiness. Once you get out of that range, it’s hard to know what someone’s going to like. As you know, that style can be pushed to extremes.

    You don’t like baseball though, right?

    That’s a joke, right? I’m doubly giddy at the thought of spring arriving with the return of Lee. Barring injury, it’s going to be very hard to get through the Phils’ top four in a post-season series. If they can get back to hitting consistently, they’ll have an excellent shot at another WS win. (I’m not getting ahead of myself, am I?)

    Did I mention Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Fresh Hop Ale before? If you like hops and want a winter/holiday beer that doesn’t taste like carrot cake, you should try it. I don’t think it’s the same style as their Celebration Ale from last year.

  48. kranky kritter Says:

    That Sierra Nevada sounds right up my alley, I’ll try it for sure if i can find it. Glad you liked the pear cider, but that probably doesn’t prove my beer bonafides, as the pear cider is sort of a category of its own. What a great hot summer beverage though.

    Dogfish Head has a brew pub in Rehoboth, no idea if that’s near you. Anything of theirs you like? For stouts. I may try a chocolate if I see one. I’ll drink a tootsie roll. Or maybe I’ll get round to the sam smith oatmeat stout everyone says is so good. It’s pricey… .

    I have confused you with someone else’s old comments about baseball being “relationship season” because baseball was boring. So then yeah, you gotta be jacked about Halladay-Lee-Oswalt-Hamels.

    That Phillies rotation stacks up to be possibly the best ever in terms of quality and depth. I have always loved Roy Halladay, we saw lot of him in the AL East, and he’s just stellar. I told my buddies I’d have driven Clay Buckholtz to the airport to seal a trade for Halladay. And I remember when the Phils got Halladay and traded Lee, I thought “why not just keep him? Oswalt is a great old pro too, put him on a team that can hit and he’ll pile up Ws. and Hamels’ best days are probably yet to come, So what’s not to love? Red Sox fans can love Lee staying out of a Yankee uniform at least until the World Series.

    As you can imagine, we’re pretty optimistic about the Sox this year. I think Crawford got way overpaid given his good but not great OBP and lack of power. But he’ll fit in and was the best guy available to fill our hole in LF. And Adrian Gonzalez is just a pure stud. I am stoked about him.

    If Josh Beckett and John Lackey bounce back, we’ll have a stout rotation ourselves, because Lester and Buckholtz are extremely good. Looks like we’ve remade our bullpen nicely, too. Papelbon had a lousy last season, but is bound to have a great final year as he heads into free agency. Everyone is high on Daniel Bard to be a great set-up guy and continue his ascent to the closer’s role when Papelbon leaves. And I love signing Bobby Jenks as another power arm. Low walks, high K’s. And data which suggests his off year last season could be no more than an unlucky BABIP.

    I recall you saying you liked metal. If you like xmas tunes too, be sure to check out Gary Hoey’s “Ho-Ho-Hoey” collection of metal christmas carols. It will surely clear your sinuses.

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