Andy Grove’s Warning to Silicon Valley A 2010 essay urges “job-centric” economics and politics, involving an all-out commitment to American manufacturing. nytimes.com|By Teresa Tritch

“Mr. Grove acknowledged that it was cheaper and thus more profitable for companies to hire workers and build factories in Asia than in the United States. But in his view, those lower Asian costs masked the high price of offshoring as measured by lost jobs and lost expertise. Silicon Valley misjudged the severity of those losses, he wrote, because of a “misplaced faith in the power of start-ups to create U.S. jobs.” ”
…..
“The triumph of free-market principles over planned economies in the 20th century, he said, did not make those principles infallible or immutable. There was room for improvement, he argued, for what he called “job-centric” economics and politics. In a job-centric system, job creation would be the nation’s No. 1 objective, with the government setting priorities and arraying the forces necessary to achieve the goal, and with businesses operating not only in their immediate profit interest but also in the interests of “employees, and employees yet to be hired.” “

A 2010 essay urges “job-centric” economics and politics, involving an all-out commitment to American manufacturing.
nytimes.com|By Teresa Tritch

The Racism at the Heart of Flint’s Crisis – The New York Times

“An important new report makes clear the principal cause of the water crisis in Flint, Mich.: the state government’s blatant disregard for the lives and health of poor and black residents of a distressed city.

The report released Wednesday by a task force appointed last year by Gov. Rick Snyder to study how Flint’s drinking water became poisoned by lead makes for chilling reading. While it avoids using the word “racism,” it clearly identifies the central role that race and poverty play in this story. “Flint residents, who are majority black or African-American and among the most impoverished of any metropolitan area in the United States, did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities,” the report said.”

Source: The Racism at the Heart of Flint’s Crisis – The New York Times

The Post-Trump Era, by David Brooks – The New York Times

“As awful as Donald Trump is, it will be exciting to witness the coming re-creation of the Republican Party.” NYT

Source: The Post-Trump Era – The New York Times

I liked this piece, and admire David Brooks, but not on politics. There was so much missing form his pretty description of a changing GOP.
Short on time and energy and brains, I went straight to the Comments for some firepower.
Here is one of many excellent comments I enjoyed:

gemli is a trusted commenter Boston 1 day ago

“Spin it as a model failure if you must, Mr. Brooks, but Republicans are responsible for their undoing.

The Reagan era marked the transition from a time of social and economic progress to one of naked greed and self-righteous fundamentalism. From covert wars to the savings and loan crisis it unleashed the forces of greed and power that characterize conservative policies today. It also heralded in the rise of the religious right with the Moral Majority and created social havoc with simplistic “Just say no” drug policies and mandatory sentencing.

The dumbing down of America was preceded by the dumbing down of its leadership, reaching its nadir with the Republican reaction to Barack Obama. Trump was midwife at the birth of the birther movement, and carried the banner for ignorance and spite that marshalled the forces of the Tea Party, the science-deniers and the Christian fundamentalists.

David Brooks and his fellow pundits were apologists for a destructive Republican philosophy that chipped away at the wall between church and state while it built one between ordinary people and the economic benefits of living in the richest country in the world.

Republicans tried to stop Obama by grinding the wheels of government to a halt. Trump is the low-information response to stagnation and economic abandonment.

Now these same pundits are wringing their hands and wondering how things could have gotten so far out of control. To find the answer, they need only look in the mirror.”

1010Recommended

Crazy About Money, by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“And then there’s a subject dear to my heart: monetary policy. You might be surprised to learn that few of the subjects I write on inspire as much passion — or as much hate mail. And it’s a subject on which Mr. Cruz has staked out a distinctive position, by calling for a return to the gold standard.

This is, in case you’re wondering, very much a fringe position among economists. When members of a large bipartisan panel on economic policy, run by the University of Chicago business school, were asked whether a gold standard would be an improvement on current arrangements, not one said yes.

In fact, many economists believe that a destructive focus on gold played a major role in the spread of the Great Depression. And Mr. Cruz’s obsession with gold is one reason to believe that he would do even more economic damage in the White House than Mr. Trump would.”

Source: Crazy About Money – The New York Times

John McCain: Salute to a Communist, by John McCain – The New York Times

“AN interesting obituary appeared in The New York Times recently, though the death of its subject last month was largely unnoticed beyond his family and friends.

That’s not surprising. Delmer Berg wasn’t a celebrity. He wasn’t someone with great wealth or influence. He had never held public office. He was a Californian. He worked as a farmhand and stonemason. He did some union organizing. He was vice president of his local N.A.A.C.P. chapter. He protested against the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons. He joined the United States Communist Party in 1943, and, according to The Times, he remained an “unreconstructed Communist” for the rest of his life. He was 100.

He was also the last known living veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.Not many Americans younger than 70 know much about the Lincoln Brigade. It became the designation given to the nearly 3,000 mostly American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1937 and 1938. They fought on the Republican side, in defense of the democratically elected leftist government of Spain, and against the Nationalists, the military rebels led by Gen. Francisco Franco.”

Source: John McCain: Salute to a Communist – The New York Times

I’m Not Evil. I’m a Landlord. – The New York Times


“Cleveland Heights, Ohio — MATTHEW DESMOND, a Harvard sociology professor, moved into poor Milwaukee neighborhoods and wrote this year’s hottest ethnographic tome about it: “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.” While working on the book, he kept a journal. He wrote, “I feel dirty, collecting these stories and hardships like so many trophies.”
I collect stories and hardships, too — and rent. I’m a landlord. Eviction notices — I buy them by the carton from Ohio Legal Blank. I’ve probably evicted 100 people, two or three a year for 40 years. Two weeks ago I evicted a recovering, or not so recovering, drug addict. He was stealing from his wife, and she wanted him out, so I evicted him. When the locksmith changed the lock, I gave the wife but not the husband new keys.I’m familiar with the bailiffs and magistrates at municipal court. I carry a clip-on tie in my car so I look sharp — blue tie over a green shirt, the middle-school art-teacher look. I’m not a lawyer, but I know what “forcible entry and detainer” means. Eviction.I try to give my apartments a middle-class feel.”

Source: I’m Not Evil. I’m a Landlord. – The New York Times

Irish Spring, by Tim Egan – The New York Times

“The ghost of African-American slavery was never far from the history-making of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And yet King never lost his skill to cast that institutional crime in the bigger picture, a forward-looking thrust. “The arc of the moral universe is long,” he famously said, “but it bends toward justice.”So, too, is the grand narrative of the Irish people. Full disclosure, and a shameless plug: I’ve been touring on behalf of a book about the Irish-American experience, as told through the life of one man. It’s been a great boost to hear so many family stories with a common theme: pride in a heritage of survival.“To be Irish,” said Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “is to know that in the end the world will break your heart.” And it’s true that Irish history is an epic of misery and tragedy, interrupted only by occasional periods of joy. For almost 700 years, it was a crime to be Irish in Ireland.”

Source: Irish Spring – The New York Times

What Weather Is the Fault of Climate Change? A new study finds that climate change can be singled out as a factor in some episodes of extreme weather. nytimes.com|By Heidi Cullen

Heidi Cullen, Chief Scientist at Climate Central, writes:
“But some of our weather has changed significantly, and now a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has outlined a rigorous, defensible, science-based system of extreme weather attribution to determine which events are tied to climate change.”

A new study finds that climate change can be singled out as a factor in some episodes of extreme weather.
nytimes.com|By Heidi Cullen

Trade and Tribulation. by Paul Krugman –  The New York Times

“To make sense of the debate over trade, there are three things you need to know.The first is that we have gotten to where we are — a largely free-trade world — through a generations-long process of international diplomacy, going all the way back to F.D.R. This process combines a series of quid pro quos — I’ll open my markets if you open yours — with rules to prevent backsliding.

The second is that protectionists almost always exaggerate the adverse effects of trade liberalization. Globalization is only one of several factors behind rising income inequality, and trade agreements are, in turn, only one factor in globalization. Trade deficits have been an important cause of the decline in U.S. manufacturing employment since 2000, but that decline began much earlier. And even our trade deficits are mainly a result of factors other than trade policy, like a strong dollar buoyed by global capital looking for a safe haven.

And yes, Mr. Sanders is demagoguing the issue, for example with a Twitter post linking the decline of Detroit, which began in the 1960s and has had very little to do with trade liberalization, to “Hillary Clinton’s free-trade policies.”reading the main storyThat said, not all free-trade advocates are paragons of intellectual honesty. In fact, the elite case for ever-freer trade, the one that the public hears, is largely a scam. That’s true even if you exclude the most egregious nonsense, like Mitt Romney’s claim that protectionism causes recessions. What you hear, all too often, are claims that trade is an engine of job creation, that trade agreements will have big payoffs in terms of economic growth and that they are good for everyone.”

Source: Trade and Tribulation – The New York Times

The Right to Sue the Gun Industry – The New York Times

“The question of whether the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed is at issue because Congress, prodded by the gun lobby, in 2005 foolishly granted the gun industry nearly complete immunity from legal claims and damages from the criminal use of guns.The Sandy Hook parents argue that their suit should continue because that law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, allows claims against companies — gun shop dealers, for example — if they knew or should have known that the weapons they sold were likely to risk injury to others. The parents contend that the maker of the Bushmaster is no less culpable because it knowingly marketed a risky war weapon to civilians.”

Source: The Right to Sue the Gun Industry – The New York Times